Giving the gift of gratitude

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“Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude.”

The message of Philippians 6 is clear; gratitude.

It’s a simple message which struck a chord with Mrs Carolyn Parsell, Principal at St. Joachim’s primary school in Lidcombe.

“It’s important for each of us to be grateful,” she said. “It’s good for us to show gratitude for the blessings we have, it makes us all happier.”

Katelyn Y6, Alyssa Y1, Jordan Y4, Nicolo Y4 with Jeanelle Richards, Religious education Coordinator and Principal Carolyn Parsell at St Joachim’s Catholic Primary School Lidcombe PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli.

Showing gratitude is a lesson the team at St Joachim’s works hard to instill in their students and led to St Joachim’s Gratitude Project.

Working with Mrs. Parsell, the school’s Religious Education Coordinator Jeanelle Richards and Family Educator Marianna Sanavio set out to find ways to help their students understand the current situation and feel gratitude for the members of their community who have continued to work and keep society going.

“We created prayer cards to thank parents for their efforts during the remote learning period,” said Mrs Parsell. “And now we want to say thank you to the wider community for the work they’ve done.”

The St. Joachim’s students created thank you packages and wrote thank you cards for the heroes of the Lidcombe community at Auburn Hospital and Auburn Police station, as well as local businesses such as the local chemist, who kept their doors open despite the risks to provide much needed equipment and medicines to the people of Lidcombe.

Marianna Savanio and Fr Eduardo join Mrs Richards to deliver a thank you package to Sally and her team at Sally’s Pharmacy in Lidcombe. PHOTO: Giovanni Portelli

The packages included a large certificate of thanks, thank you chocolates and thank you cards prepared by students from Kindergarten to Year 6.

The children from Years 3-6 wrote messages to members of the Lidcombe community to express their gratitude for serving the community and keeping them safe during COVID-19.

Unfortunately, due to the circumstances and restrictions in place the students were unable to deliver their packages in person, sending Carolyn, Jeanelle, Marianna and St. Joachim’s Parish Priest Fr Eduardo Orilla to pass on the student’s gratitude.

In times like these the sense of community and connection fostered through simple acts of thanks can’t be understated. The children at St. Joachim’s in Lidcombe know now that a small gesture can have a big impact. It’s a gesture that won’t be quickly forgotten.