Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Mysterious Art of Kindness; What's So Good about Being Kind and Why Do Some of Us Feel Compelled to Do It?

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Mysterious Art of Kindness; What's So Good about Being Kind and Why Do Some of Us Feel Compelled to Do It?

Article excerpt

Byline: Mitch Crawley tries to unravel the secret of our givers

His name is Anakin and he's encouraging me to use the Force to do something nice for someone. With a big smile set between dimples, he's claiming that he is my father and, because of that, I must use the Force.

Use the Force.

C'mon, big smiles everyone. Big smiles or there will be heaps of homework.

And if he's Anakin, then she must be Princess Leia - but going by the name of Lara Wickham, and under the guise of a Year 7 Pialba State School pupil.

And then if they are who Anakin suggests they could be, then the big colourful mural wall behind them might as well be the Star Wars galaxy, and the bright pillowcases decorated with handmade designs that they're waving excitedly around are proof that they are indeed Jedi masters.

C'mon kids. Anakin, look this way so we can see your face.

And if they're Jedi masters, then the other two in line must be Jedi masters too. Katelyn Andre and Kyah Blanch - Jedi masters.

And that would mean that their teacher, Ms Kingswell, the one who's standing nearby telling them to smile and lamely threatening homework, the one who gave them the idea of making pillowcases for sick children in hospital so they have something colourful and personal in an otherwise sterile and dull environment, must be Yoda.

Fraser Coast's Yoda, aka Lisa Kingswell, says that you don't need to be a Jedi master to be a hero. Just give a little, she says, and be an honest soul who wants to do something nice for another honest soul.

"I think it's really important that people learn the world doesn't revolve around them and there are people out there who need help as well," Ms Kingswell says.

"They need to learn that they've got to give back sometimes and that's why I did it. I just wanted them to give back and realise that there's a bigger world out there, there are people with problems and to make them a little more aware."

Denis Dack uses the Force. He's a fun guy who's 80 going on 18. He had a ripper motorbike with a sidecar and now he has a ripper Volvo sports car.

Together with 24 others, Mr Dack forms the Fraser Coast Community Help Group. It's a group that works behind the scenes raising money for organisations and people who need it.

Its first project was organising a patient transfer facility - worth about $300,000 - for critically ill hospital patients needing to be airlifted from Hervey Bay. Their second and most recent project was raising $180,000 to help Meals On Wheels into its new Fraser Coast kitchen.

Mr Dack explains how it all began: "It meant if it was teeming rain and you had a heart attack you were laying on a gurney at the terminal ready to be loaded onto the flying doctor service instead of laying in the rain.

"Until then, there was nothing - and that happened to me, and that's why I (formed the group) a[degrees] I went to the Chronicle and they wrote a story and I submitted an appeal and did some radio broadcasts and got it rolling. …

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