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Our Impact: Bernadette, Australia

Brush with Kindness, our national volunteer program, is helping disadvantaged families make repairs and maintenance to their homes.

This year we’ve been working with families in New South Wales to help with maintenance and repairs around their homes as part of our Brush with Kindness program. Earlier this year, we worked with over 15 families affected by the Blue Mountains bush fires in October 2013. Last month, we also started working with families in Western Sydney who are unable to make repairs to their homes themselves. Recently, we welcomed volunteer teams from Procter & Gamble to lend a hand for our Brush with Kindness works.
In Yagoona, we helped out Bernadette, who has lived in her home for 30 years. She has been raising her grandson, Lee, who has autism, since he was 9 months old. Bernadette’s husband died 14 years ago from cancer and ever since she has raised Lee, who is now 22, on her own. Being a sole carer to her grandson has made it difficult for Bernadette to find the time for maintenance tasks around her home and garden. Bernadette is also on a waiting list for a hip replacement and struggles with the five stairs that lead up to her front door.
Our volunteers joined us over two days to help rejuvenate Bernadette’s garden. Volunteers worked through pouring rain and helped with weeding and removed rubbish and trees. The team managed to fill an entire skip and also installed a hand rail so Bernadette can easily use the stairs.
Bernadette was very grateful for the assistance and moved by our volunteers’ dedication. “I never thought anything like this could ever happen to me,” she said. “It is so magical. I could not imagine this ever happening.”

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