17 January 2019

You helped Emily find her smile again

Posted in At-Risk / SU QLD / Youth issues

Emily never had the opportunity to be raised in a home with a mum and dad. For the past 10 years she, and her brothers, have lived with their loving and devoted grandparents.

But when her grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, Emily lost her reason to smile. Thanks to the support of friends like you, Chappy Sam’s been in her corner and there when she needed someone the most.

“Although we strived to give Emily and her brothers all we could, life has been difficult but Emily has never complained,” her grandmother Bettina explains.

“Until recently, she had always faced her fears and experienced life with a smile on her face. She’s always been helpful and kind, and strived to be the best she could be.

“However, since her grandad became ill, we noticed her confidence plummet and not so many smiles any more. She didn’t outwardly demonstrate her feelings but we could tell that it had affected her deeply.”

Enter Chappy Sam and a resilience program for students just like Emily.

“Emily used to come to my room with her friends before she did the program, to play Uno and hang out,” Chappy Sam says.

“I knew she lived with her grandparents and I felt she would benefit from the program and it would encourage her.

“The guidance officer, her teacher, and the principal agreed she would benefit from it, but we just were blown away with how the program has impacted her.”

Bettina was also shocked at the positive change she witnessed in her young granddaughter.

“Emily told us about the program and my first thought was, ‘That’d be wonderful!’.

“It’s hard enough going through the changes that are happening to her but she has a lot more on her plate, too. I had no idea just how much it would lift her up,” Bettina says.

“She became more confident, happier and content. I haven’t seen that glow in her for so many years; she was happier than l had seen in years.”

Your support for school chaplaincy is equipping young people like Emily with the strength and resilience they need to overcome some of their greatest hurdles. To keep this support going, and to keep chaplains there to help support young people like Emily, visit suqld.org.au/donate.

Jennifer Kerr

Media and Communications Administrator

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