On World Kindness Day, we want to pay tribute to one of our beneficiaries – Annabelle, who is the epitome of kindness. Annabelle was diagnosed with a chronic rare bone disease, aged just 4 years old, and has endured frequent hospital stays for treatment ever since.
Whilst in hospital, she realised there weren’t many activities to keep her occupied and nothing fun to help maintain her education. This inspired her to think about how she could support children in a similar situation – so she founded ‘S.T.E.A.M Packs’.
S.T.E.A.M Packs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics) are boxes of educational activities that bring the fun of learning to chronically sick children in hospital.
“Stuck in a Ward without much fun
Help their minds wander or even go for a run
Whether it’s a Pencil, a Rubber, a Flyer or a Book
It will fire their imagination and they’ll all want to look
Thank you for reading our message today
We hope you can help us in some sort of way” – Annabelle, @pack_steam on Twitter
Her poetic appeal brought numerous offers of donated items – including astronaut handbooks, butterfly net and solar bot kits, stickers and activity books. Each pack is handmade by Annabelle, who makes part of the contents herself, and then hand delivered to wards to support children through a difficult time.
In March 2019, Annabelle was nominated for one of our Air Smiles Days at London Biggin Hill Airport. The aim was to provide the family with a shared, positive experience away from their daily struggles; they often sit at the Lookout café and watch the Spitfires taking off!
Annabelle enjoyed her Air Smiles Day so much, she offered to support our annual event for families from the Chartwell Cancer Trust – each of whom, very sadly, have a child with a life-limiting illness. Annabelle and her parents kindly supported as volunteers; providing S.T.E.A.M packs for the children’s goody bags and hosting the creative table with colouring, ‘make & do’ activities and much more!
They made friends with one of our beneficiaries, Amelia, making magic wands from the craft supplies. Annabelle said, “There you go Amelia, I’m sharing my magic with you and we will be friends forever now, no matter what”. All the adults just looked at each other and smiled… pure kindness in action and children playing like they should be and not worrying about anything else for a while – going the extra mile, to help people smile.
If you are inspired by Annabelle’s kindness and want to get involved with supporting other children with the opportunity to leave their troubles behind on an Air Smiles Day, please get in touch via the Contact page or our social media @fly2help – Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
The video from Annabelle’s Air Smiles flight can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdLKykd1JIw