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Acts of solidarity inspire a stream of good amid the pandemic


By Aline Rodrigues

Amid the new coronavirus pandemic, examples of generosity have spread around Australia. Thousands of ordinary people are using their Social Media platforms to help others.

“Franklin street senior neighbours: if you need any help such as doing groceries or walking your pets, feel free to send me a message. Stay home and stay safe. Let us help you”, wrote Juliana Duarte, 29 years old, who lives in Annerley and currently works as a nanny.

According to Ms Duarte, empathy is her motivation. “I have a grandmother in my home country with impaired health and I would like somebody to do the same for her. This is the time to come together and help each other.”

The property manager, Rachel Phillips, 24 years old, who lives in Enoggera, has assisted elderly people by collecting groceries and dropping them at their gate as a social distance method.

“If we all help a little it will make a lot of difference and although I have no money, I have a lot of time and the ability to transport myself to essential services regularly, where elderly and disabled may not be able to without help,” said Ms Phillips.

Phillips is also a member of a WhatsApp group, created by her local community, where everyone in the block can group chat and help each other out.

“It started with a flyer to everyone’s mailbox… The main benefit of this has been homeschooling, where the local teachers can help parents understand resources”, she explains.

Creativity and donation

Natalia Charry, 36 years old, who lives in Coorparoo, has recently lost her job and decided to use her time to help. First, she sent a kind message to her elderly neighbours.

The intention was to offer some kind of emotional support to them. “My next-door neighbour sent me a lovely text saying I made her day. I also decided to put up a message in front of our house”.

Also, Charry decided to promote a communal potluck focused on international students. For this, she helped to create a group on Facebook called “Olla Franca in Brisbane”. So far, this group has delivered around 40 baskets with basic food and hygiene items.

“We have 15 more baskets to delivery this Tuesday, 31st. Our volunteers have been trying to find information that can be relevant to assist vulnerable people. Also, we are looking for some volunteers who are psychologists to help us to look after the mental health of the students.”

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