Packs of kindness help beat cabin fever and care for needy neighbours

By Judith Kerr, Quest Newspapers | April 9, 2020

YESTERDAY’S historic $130 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy package is not the only kindness pack on offer.

Logan MP and Labor Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers was also doing his bit to stave off cabin fever and is sending out “Care Cards” to his constituents.

Mr Chalmers was in Canberra on Wednesday when Parliament passed the measures which will give eligible employers $1500 every two weeks for each employee on their books.

The Rankin MP will post out his cards of kindness to households on Monday.

He said he hoped people would fill out the form on the back and put it into their neighbour’s letterbox.

Neighbours who are in need could then call the giver and ask for help.

The kindness packs include simple games to keep homebound school kids entertained or to amuse those who are self-isolating.

They include a word search that hides words such as “community”, “caring” and “handwash”, as well as a sudoku puzzle and a maze.

Mr Chalmers came up with the idea after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called on her Care Army, a reincarnation of the her Mud Army from 2011 and 2017.

He said many people from Logan had been in touch with him asking for ways to support and help the local community.

“We’ve got a proud tradition of getting around each other when the going gets tough,” he said.

“It’s one of the things I love about our community – we look out for and look after one another.

“Some people who are self-isolating might need a hand collecting groceries or collecting their mail, but for many others the key need will be a bit of social connection.

“A phone call or a quick note in the letterbox will make a world of difference to so many people. In these uncertain times, a little bit of kindness and thoughtfulness go a long way.”

Logan City Council and a number of charity organisations across the city have also pulled together to create car packs for the needy.

Community groups YFS, Lighthouse Care, the State Emergency Service, food charity OzHarvest, Givit, Share the Dignity, businesses and residents joined forces to deliver the goods.

Hundreds of packages with essential items are being sent to people who are in quarantine or self-isolating or unable to access food and medicine.

YFS and Lighthouse Care, with the financial assistance of Logan City Council, assembled the packs which contain food such as bread and cereal, medicine and cleaning products.

Another charity, Southern Cross Care has also delivered dozens of care packages to surprised retirement village residents.

Last week they delivered gift packages to Retirement living residents at Edens Landing with each receiving essentials such as toilet paper, hand wipes, long-life milk, noodles, biscuits, tea and coffee.