Read the article ‘What can one person do?’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. What is the main theme of the article?
2. Have any of you spent time in hospital and if so was there anyone who made a difference to how you felt about your stay?
3. Have any of you been involved in an incident where you think you may have made a difference to someone?
4. How often do you think you have turned your back on some incident because you have thought ‘What difference could I make on my own?’
5. Go to the Heartkids website, heartkids.org.au and read about what the organisation is doing for the 64,000 children who are living with heart disease in Australia. Watch the Video about Matilda and perhaps share it on your Facebook page so that more people are aware of the organisation.
6. Use this article to have a class discussion on suffering. What is suffering? Why do people suffer? Why does God allow suffering? Does it seem fair that children suffer from heart disease? Why aren’t we all born ‘perfect’ in the eyes of society?
1. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself. For me to be a merciful person what are my ‘Strengths’, my ‘Weaknesses’, what ‘Opportunities’ are there for me to show mercy, are there any ‘Threats’ against me doing something good for someone? This means examining yourself quite closely – drill down deep into yourself. No one else needs to see this but sometimes this helps us to realise what talents we have and how we can be an encouragement to someone else.
2. Contact your local Children’s hospital and ask if you may do some fun posters for the walls of the wards where there are children suffering heart conditions. Once you have researched this and been given permission, decide what your theme may be. You could also tell a story with the posters (very much like a storyboard) that the children would understand. Remember these are very sick children and you want to make them smile.
3. Contact Heartkids in your state and ask how you can be of help to them. None of the things they do can be done without funds so you might be able to run some activity and donate the funds to the organisation. You may wish to be part of the camps – contact the organisation and find out how you can be involved.
For younger students
1. Read the story to the children and ask them how they feel about the author Chelsea Hard. Is there someone in the class who has been sick or suffers a heart condition? Perhaps they might be prepared to tell their story.
2. Eight children with heart disease would have been born in Australia today! Ask your local children’s hospital if you could put up a display of love hearts in the ward as encouragement to the patients to get better. Draw some large love hearts, either on white paper and then you can colour them but it would be easier to use red paper. Put a word or two of encouragement on each love heart.
3. Next time you go to school camp keep an eye out for the student who may be struggling being away from home. Go and talk to them and perhaps tell them stories about other camps you have been on. Tell them that you are happy for them to talk to you anytime while you are away just as Chelsea did with a young boy in the Heartkids camp. It is amazing ‘what one person can do’.
For further learning
1. What do you think about mentoring experiences like Heartkids Tween Camps? How do you think they would benefit participants?
2. Why might a parent/doctor/teacher encourage a young person to participate in one of these camps as a mentor? What might they think young people could get out of either experience?
3. Imagine you're writing a letter to a young person who's struggling with an illness. Which of your own life lessons or stories might you share with them? What might you say to encourage them?
4. Write a short reflection on the ways Chelsea mentoring at Heartkids Tween Camps helps others, including herself.