She had lost everything – her job, her best friend, her marriage…
Even her kids were siding with her ex-husband.
A series of events, each worst than the last, piled up and up…
She wished she had a magic wand to wave over all her life choices so far.
She longed for a fresh start.
Maybe if she hadn’t trusted that guy back in school, things would be different.
They were together for 26 years – and all she had to show for it were bruises.
She leaned into the slatted seat outside the community centre.
Her back was aching.
She looked up at the sound of her name.
Marna – we met last week?
It took her a moment to wipe her eyes and register the person coming closer.
Sweet, smiling Laura.
I’ll bet she’s madly in love. Never had a beating in her life.
But Marna liked her smile.
One thing she did know to be true:
Kindness shines into the moments of despair, offering hope.
And Laura was one of the kind ones.
How was your week? she said, genuinely wanting to know.
Marna sighed as she put her buttered roll aside.
She told Laura about everything, from the rental company hounding her day after day, to the rude messages from her teenage children.
And she just listened.
It felt good to have her gentle eyes on her.
It felt even better to be heard, and seen.
Laura offered to help with some of the phone calls Marna needed to make that week.
She knew she’d be OK, but it was good to know someone cared.
Thanks Laura, Marna said.
It means a lot.
And they agreed to meet next week – same time, same place.*
+ + + + + + +
When we’re feeling at our lowest and most despondent, kindness shines like a beacon on a hill.
Kindness stops and takes a moment to hear someone’s story.
Kindness is a dish of food, a warm hot chocolate, a song if you’re lucky…
Kindness is a hug, a blanket, a teddy bear to cry into.
Kindness is a text message, a phone call, an invitation to walk.
Kindness shows us its value when we start walking it out.
Profound in its simplicity.
Powerful in nature.
And the attribute we most want to cultivate.
Be kind. Always.
* Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously in this story. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons is entirely coincidental.
Kindness and the work of SECC
Kindness is key at South Eastern Community Connect (SECC).
If we aren’t kind to ourselves, we can’t be kind to our staff.
And if we aren’t kind to our staff, it’s hard to be kind to our community.
Kindness starts at the top, and trickles down.
Not that we’re perfect at it, but our goal is to cultivate kindness in all we do.
For example, this week we had a senior client who experienced a house fire.
Our case manager was able to get him settled into temporary accommodation while Social Housing looked into what to do with his home.
Our client is missing a number of household items, and with the help of our team at the Hub in Mascot we are helping him get back on his feet.
We’re also supplying him with a number of meals to keep him going.
Kindness is practical.
Because when we hit our lowest point, it’s the little things that matter most.
Work with us. Learn with us. Connect with us.
What are some practical ways you can support the work of SECC locally?
Here are some simple suggestions:
- Talk about us! Know someone who needs some grocery support? Invite them to give us a call on (02) 7903 0607. Or maybe they’re a senior wanting to get out and about more? Call us on (02) 8338 8506.
- Give groceries. We’re always in need of emergency supplies for the community around Mascot. Call (02) 7903 0607 and arrange a time to drop in some non-perishable food and essentials to the Hub at 1007 Botany Rd, Mascot. Note: We have an ongoing need for baby wipes and large nappies (size 3 & 4).
- Give time. Call Sue on (02) 8338 8506 or head to our volunteering page if you are interested in volunteering your time to help us.
- Give money. You can donate anytime to the work of SECC and specify where you would like it to go, whether it’s towards our new community van, for a family in need, or towards our youth engagement initiatives.
- Get involved. Why not attend one of our many playgroups, parenting groups, or adult wellbeing groups? Head to bit.ly/SECCprograms to book yourself in.
- Follow us on Facebook and Instagram so our friendly faces show up daily in your feed.
- Leave us a lovely review. If we’ve been a support to you in any way, we’d love to know about it. Leave us a review now. We’ll be so grateful because it lets more people know about us. We’ll even send you a free coffee voucher as thanks!
South Eastern Community Connect (SECC)