The team at Mission Australia's Cairns office have been gifted with 'kindness jars' in recognition of their kindness in supporting the community.

The jars were the initiative of young Yarrabah State School students who are part of the 'DREAM Buyal Bandu' girls group, a stream of our Circles of Care program. In the local Gunggandji language, 'buyal bandu' means 'strong together'.

Leisa Garling, Community Development Officer explains how the idea of the jars came into being.

"In 2014, as part of the DREAM Buyal Bandu Program the girls decided to do one off 'acts of kindness'. This grew over the years and in 2018, 'The Kindness Team' formally came together as a program of its own. The team meet at the beginning of each term to decide what project they'd like to embark on. Then during their own time throughout the term, they hold planning sessions for how to spread kindness," Leisa explained.

"This term, the team decided they wanted to channel kindness towards Mission Australia's workers to recognise their ongoing support. They invented the idea of making 'kindness jars' for my line managers and the amazing admin staff in our Cairns Office, who all support the program and help things run so smoothly in Yarrabah."

Happiness Jar

Each jar contained:

  • A dose of happiness – a jar of hand written messages in little 'pills'
  • A bag of fun – bubbles, a slinky and a hacky ball to remind adults to have fun
  • A candle for when they need to chill out
  • A tube of handmade origami wishing stars – to wish the staff good luck
  • Positive messages that staff can put on their desk to remind themselves how amazing they are and the good work they do.
  • M&M survival pack with instructions.

To deliver the jars, six girls volunteered to go on a road trip with Leisa from Yarrabah to Cairns to visit the Mission Australia team.

"It was a great opportunity to explain how the Yarrabah Mission Australia team had people supporting them in other offices. The girls were fascinated by the amount of people who work in the organisation and that each one of them supports the workers in Yarrabah who then support them and their families," Leisa explains.

"They had a great day visiting different Mission Australia offices and couldn't wait to tell the other girls and their families how many people worked at Mission Australia and that you can actually get a job being kind to people!"

The Circles of Care program brings together a network of people who support children at school to achieve positive outcomes for their learning and wellbeing. The program operates from Yarrabah State School to support primary school-aged children and their families.

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