We are all individuals with our own strengths and weaknesses so situations like coronavirus can affect different people in different ways.
If you’d like to help others in our community, here are some useful tips:
- Keep an eye on your neighbours and family members - have a casual chat over the fence, give them a call or meet up for a cuppa.
- Offer to shop for someone who has limited mobility.
- Consider setting up a facebook group with friends or neighbours so you can share your thoughts, resources and ask for help if needed.
- Help others if you see or hear of someone in need.
- Organise a catch up at your house with family or friends where everyone brings a plate to share.
- Volunteer your time at a local organisation or community centre.
- Practice patience, mindfulness and kindness and encourage others to do the same.
- Maroondah’s Community Houses are available for individual support, education, health and wellbeing activities and emergency relief.
Helping out your neighbours
Do you have some spare time? Would you like to help your neighbours?
We have put together a Neighbour Help Card for you. If you’d like to help your neighbours, just print off the card, fill in your details, and leave it in their letter box. They can call you if they need any help.
If you don’t have a printer, we can print the card and post it out to you. Call us on 1300 88 22 33 or email email@example.com.
Be Kind Neighbour card(PDF, 70KB)
Thank you for your help
Would you like to thank someone who has helped you over the past few months?
We have a Thank you card all ready for you to use or you can make your own using our template.
Outer East Phone Chat
Do you know someone who is lonely, isolated or just would like someone to talk to? Outer East Phone Line chat is offering just that - a friendly chat. Call 1800 984 825, Monday to Friday 10am to 1pm and Monday to Thursday 5pm to 9pm.
Be Kind to others stories
At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we encouraged community members to send in their stories of kindness, whether it was about others, yourself or local business. The purpose of sharing these stories was to allow community members to share some of their positive pandemic experiences with fellow community members. These messages were extremely powerful and brought a smile to some people’s faces on some of the loneliest days.
Thank you everyone who sent in a story.
Thank you for our dolls face masks
A big thank you to a Maroondah City Council employee who made some face masks for their Occasional Care dolls. The children have enjoyed adding these to their hospital/safety play. This allows the educators to have spontaneous conversations about why people are wearing masks in the community during COVID19, what masks are doing to protect people and why it is not only hospital workers wearing them.
5 minutes mindful practice - Saying hello… I am here…
My dear loving community,
It brings me great joy to share the first 5 minutes mindful practice with you. Here it goes…
Hello I am here…
We will be do this practice over next 7 days. Every day we will add one little element (which is optional). Why, because our mind is very good at giving us many excuses to not drop in present moment, to name a few:
- Oh! it’s the same practice. Boring. I need something new.
- We go on autopilot. We ‘think’ we are practicing.
- We are practicing but our body and mind are in opposite directions.
- Our ancestral habit energies of running and rushing all the time.
- Tell your mind, its only 5 minutes in the day!
By giving our mind an option of adding a new element to our practice, we will be well equipped to train it and bring it in present moment. From my own practical experience, this little trick works very well to train our mind which is always busy and occupied.
Practice Preparation: Taking a moment, say this to yourself. “From today, I invite myself to drop in the present moment. I give myself permission to prioritize “ME” for 5 minutes each day. I allow my body and mind to be open and receptive.”
Practice Object: Our eyes, looking deeply, presenting yourself.
Practice Description: From tomorrow to next 7 days, we will be saying hello to anything we choose by looking at it deeply and say hello with our full, real presence.
Practice Method: From next morning, as you open two beautiful gifts, your lovely eyes, you can begin to notice anything that gets your attention and simply say hello.
Look deeply at the object of focus for a few seconds and present yourself and just say ‘hello…I am here’.
You can say hello to anything.. hello myself, hello my eyes, hello my beloved, hello my child, hello my pet, hello water, hello cloud, hello blue sky, hello rains, hello my bread, hello my fruit, hello my phone, hello my hands, hello my feet, hello my TV, hello trees, hello flower, hello ant, hello flies, hello sunset, hello night…the list goes on and on.
And that’s it! How simple and beautiful and grateful to notice and observe so many wonderful conditions of happiness around us! If you like you could repeat the practice for next 3 weeks, as it's an old belief that it takes 21 days to integrate a practice in your routine.
Practice Note: As per my count it takes 5 seconds to say a fully present hello to any object. Just stop and then look and say hello. Most importantly please enjoy the practice!
Practice Ways: You can practice it in anyway you like, as comfortable to you. If you are looking for some suggestions here are a few:
- You can do it through the day. Don’t keep any count!
- You can set aside 5 whole minutes anytime as per your schedule. Put a 5 minutes timer!
- You can do it at meal times.
- You can do it while travelling, talking on phone (also improves your communication!)
- Add it to your existing religious or spiritual or ritual practices
- Do it with you children! A mindful game to play! What a wonderful life skill. To observe, pay attention, notice and be present!
- Do it while working! Gives you few seconds break to come back to yourself.
The ideas are endless. Share your own unique ideas, ways with your friends and family. A wonderful positive topic for a loving conversation.
Practice Add on Elements: I absolutely love this technique to lovingly quiet your mind and make it your ally to be mindful.
Day 1: Preparation day. Read the practice slowly and mindfully. Let it sink in, follow preparation steps above.
Day 2: Go very gentle with yourself, very kind, patient, slow down. Please don’t make it as another project, another task, another item in your to do list, another way to prove something to ourselves or others. Just let the practice flow on its own.
Day 3: If you can anytime, notice your natural breath when you say hello. Don’t make it a goal to notice breath every time. Remember it’s a practice. No right or wrong here. When you can remember, touch your beautiful breath.
Day 4: If it feels right then add a gentle smile when you are looking deeply at the object of focus. Again, no pressure, no forcing anything.
Day 5: If it’s comfortable, try to practice it through the day. Again keep overall time to 5 minutes only. Trying to bring awareness through the day, rather than say just in the morning or travel time.
Day 6: Just observe your practice. See if any or all elements from previous days are flowing naturally in you. If nothing its OK. If you can include everything its also OK too.
Day 7: If you feel ready, practice the breathing mantra:
“Breathing in hello…
Breathing out I am here…
[Adopted from breathing mantras by Thich Nhat Hanh]
Even if you could breathe like this 1 time, 2 times, 3 times, its an insight already! If not, then also celebrate, you just gave a gift of 5 minutes to yourself each day! Hurray!
Practice loving-kindness: Always keep a beginner’s mind. Whether it’s your first day of mindfulness or years of practice. Mindfulness is fresh each moment. It’s a practice, either the first time or the 1000th time. Our mind will rush, it will run, it will race. It’s been mind’s practice for a million years. It will take us a lot of time to reverse its direction. The more loving-kindness, the sooner mind begins to recognise new patterns.
Practice Source: All the mindful practices that we will be doing together are adopted from teachings of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, a global spiritual leader, poet, peace activist and founder of the Plum Village Tradition.
I would like to take this opportunity to pay gratitude for our collective practice over next 7 days. Thank you Mother Earth, Thank you Thay, Thank you to all of our spiritual, religious, mineral and blood ancestors for holding, supporting and practicing with us.
As always filling your way with these wonderful words:
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath’. - Amit Ray
I am so overjoyed with the beginning of our mindful living journey. Please remember to enjoy the practice. Let it come to you rather than you try to run behind it. I really hope you cultivate a few moments of bliss, peace, calmness, stillness and at the same time enjoy the fruit of your practice. I am always here to support you, rooting for you.
Let’s keep our collective energy positive. There is no objective, goal, aim or achievement here. It is a practice for us to show up for ourselves, to honour ourselves, to create peace, joy and happiness for ourselves.
Thank you so much for your time, attention and practice. Namaste. With all my love, light and compassion,
Yours sincere friend from this part of the world.
I had heard about people creating 'Spoonvilles' - clusters of smiling spoon families and this week I discovered one on my walk around Croydon. Well done to those who created this one!
Children's letters deliver happiness to older residents in Maroondah
Seven of our local primary schools have been sending hand written letters to older Maroondah community members as a way of staying connected and to let them know they are being thought of.
These heartfelt letters have helped bring joy to older residents, particularly at a time when strict stay at home orders have been put in place and regular social activities have been cancelled.
Thank you to these students for their kindness to others.
Rang at least one friend a week, smiled at others when out walking, showed my appreciation to people going 'extra mile' for me - especially Kerrabee, my aged care, Caladenia (usually volunteer here), my daughter. Difficult to do much when in isolation.
Emergency Community Pantry
In April, Glen Park Community Centre held an emergency Community Pantry providing food and house hold items to members of its community to help them through what has been and continues to be one of the toughest times we've seen.
We rallied together with Eastland, Woolworths Eastland and Foodbank Victoria to provide these much needed items to our most vulnerable members of our community. The generosity of Eastland, Woolworths Eastland and Foodbank Victoria has been astounding, we can't thank them enough for their efforts and the additional staples were well and truly welcomed by the community.
Glen Park will continue to offer our fortnightly Community Pantry to assist those in need and remain connected with our community during these difficult times.
A wave from the garbage truck
My 2 year old was experiencing lots of emotions this morning and was stressed about having to go to daycare. Just as we were getting ready to leave, the recycling truck entered our street. My son, who is obsessed with trucks, was so excited to stand in the driveway to watch the bins being collected. My son waved to the driver, who made the effort to stop his truck and use the claw to 'wave' back. This made my son's day and he was now more than happy to go to daycare so he could tell them all how the garbage truck had waved to him! Thank you to whomever it was driving the truck this morning, this small act of kindness completely changed how my son will experience his day.
It's amazing what a letter can do - brighten a day, provide an activity, keep people connected.
Ringwood Church of Christ have been using letters in a number of creative ways and perhaps it's something you can do too. There was the letter club at Easter where kids received a letter and activity sheet every couple of days for the two weeks leading up to Easter.
For Mothers Day there were the Mothers Day Card kits that were distributed to people who registered so that children could still have something home made for mum.
Kids Hope at Eastwood Primary converted from a face to face program to a program of emails and letters. Kids Hope is a program that connects trained mentors with primary school aged children. The usual format is one hour, one child, one church, one school.
This led to many grandparents sending letters and cards to their grandchildren as well. letters are another way we can stay connected and be kind to each other.
Andrea at Ringwood Church,
The Language of Acceptance
I am a language enthusiast for a hobby. This morning when I went for a walk I passed some Asian people and said, 'Nïhâo' to them - I figured if they were from another part of Asia or even a part of China where Mandarin isn't so prevalent they would correct me. However, they were surprised and ecstatic to hear a greeting in their language. Given the racism that has been shown toward people of South East Asian appearance/ heritage, this is a way of showing acceptance and inclusion.
During the breaks of my online school, a man came to fix a fence into our house and I kept asking him if he wanted a drink. When you have people over it is always kind of you ask them if they want a drink.
I have been sending our Knox Bridge Club members an email every Wednesday morning. The subject for tomorrow’s email is Birthdays, Game, News, Funnies, Recipe and Virtual Holiday - Week 11.
I’ve also been sending ecards to all those having a birthday. I have had a lot of positive feedback regarding the weekly emails. Many members have been contributing by sending me amusing, interesting and topical video clips and their news.
Other news is from phoning members. I have nearly got through phoning all our nearly 60 members. Most of those that I haven’t phoned, I’ve had email exchanges. When I’ve identified a member who is struggling, I’ve asked another member to phone them and keep in touch. Other committee members are also phoning members. Our members are mostly in the older group, over 60,and mostly retired,.
My signature ending has changed from ‘Happy bridging’ to ‘Keep well and keep occupied’, keep occupied because I think that it’s important perhaps especially for retirees to have a range of hobbies and interests that they can pursue at home as well as do some regular daily exercise for those who are able! I’ve also included suggestions for activities in the weekly emails.
Winning the neighbour lotto
We moved to Maroondah 18 months ago, but when we purchased our home we did not realise we were also purchasing the winning ticket in the neighbour lotto. Over many, many weeks our gorgeous neighbours have been bundling up hand-me-down toys, clothes and activities and have placed a gift on our door step every morning. Their generosity and kindness has not only bought us the delight of surprises, it has kept us entertained for hours and most importantly has made us feel connected even when we are social distancing. Thank you Sophie, Rod, Daisy, Willow and Flynn - we think you are truly spectacular!
In our small neighbourhood we have seen quite a few examples of kindness.
At Easter we we treated to small bags of Easter eggs carefully delivered to our letter boxes; there has been sharing of plant cuttings and produce via boxes on the nature strip; a street dawn service for Anzac Day, where we all stood at the top of our driveways and listened to the Canberra service via a couple of car radios; phone calls and text messages to check how people are; shopping/cooking for people. Residents have also taken on board the call for people to put things of interest at the front of their homes to bring a smile and some joy to passers by.
Pooh Bear's House Early Learning Centre providing Care packages for Families/ Elderly
Pooh Bear's House Early Learning Centre has placed a "food relief" in their front gate for families to provide valuable items to local families in the community who are struggling or cannot go to the shops.
These care packages containing long life foods like cans, soups and pasta have been delivered to many families who are single parents, have children with medical conditions and other residents in the community who cannot go to the supermarket.
The Kinder children also sent a package to Park Lane Aged Care facility with photos for people in need. The children created rainbow drawings and the centre packaged them and sent them for the residents who may need a little colour in their rooms to brighten their day. The children spoke of how excited the residents would be when they saw those colourful pieces, and placed a lot of love into creating them.
As Mental health is something very close to us at Croydon Ranges FC we decided to all participate in an effort to raise awareness around depression, anxiety, PTSD all the drivers to committing suicide.
Once some one is nominated, they start with 25 days and 25 push ups a day. We as group have had over 50 members participating through “Facebook” and special “what’s app groups” set up by our club. They wear their club shirts with the “beyond blue” logo, proudly promoting the organization and awareness.
We thought if we could all encourage the concept of ‘it is okay not be to okay’ then collectively we can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
Celebrating our Healthcare Heros
Melbourne Autism Lions Club made care hampers that we delivered to healthcare workers who are treating covid-19 patients at Knox Hospital
I assisted my grandparents numerous times through this period. Mowing their lawns, doing their weekly grocery shop and each was incredibly rewarding.
It helped to know I was making their lives a little bit easier during this time while also keeping them safe.
Starting my career as a nurse and midwife has been very rewarding by helping out our healthcare system during this global pandemic.
During iso I created a family Whatsapp group with my parents, siblings, kids, nieces and nephews. We all enjoy sharing stories, recipes, gardening tips, puzzles and Netflix/Stan shows during the COVID-19 period.
Over the last few months at The Learning Sanctuary - Park Orchards, the Junior Toddler room has been helping to spread cheer and positivity around the centre and in the community, by undertaking a #projectkindess.
Educators have been educating toddlers ways how we can be kind to others, through writing letters to loved one, the local aged care home and to other centres within Australia. As well as creating kindness rocks to place around the centre and a rainbow trail on the centres door to create positivity for families.
How lovely to discover rocks painted by children on a recent walk! These rocks had ‘kindness messages’ written underneath. What a way to brighten your day!
Not long after social isolation came into place, I set up a regular weekend zoom catch up with my extended family. I missed our usual weekend brunches/lunches/shopping trips and this seemed the next best thing.