Children at Cairns Base Hospital received a happiness boost when teens from Chabad North Queensland gifted them toy bags during Shavuot. Lego, dolls, toys, children’s books and games were among the gifts distributed by the teens to patients in the children’s ward.
The teens committed their time after school volunteering at the hospital, choosing toys and books to go into the bags and then personally delivering them to the patients.
“Seeing those children so happy really made my day. It made me appreciate the little things we can do to help others,” said Eli Liddel, from Trinity Beach.
This is one of the many tikkun olam initiatives that teens in the Cairns Jewish community get involved in throughout the year. For Tu b’Shvat they help the council by replanting areas that have been hit by bad weather; for Purim they give out food packages for those in the community; and for Rosh Hashanah they give honey cake to community services such as the fire brigade and police service.
“Shavuot symbolises the Jewish unity at Mount Sinai,” said Rebbetzin Mushkie Rubin, co-director of Chabad of North Queensland.
“We want to instil in our teens the values of giving and to help out those who are vulnerable.”
Despite the small size of the community in Cairns, the comfort teens provided to families during their toy run offered a moment of calm during a stressful time.
“I got goosebumps looking at the smile on one of the children there,” said a nurse at Cairns Hospital. “He’s been here for a week and has been miserable the entire time. This is the first time he has smiled.”
To keep up to date with the Chabad Centre for Jewish Life in North Queensland – a division of Chabad of RARA, visit Chabadnorthqueensland.com