People Are Really Good At Heart

By: Michael Lynch
Monday, February 13, 2017

In her now famous diary, Anne Frank, one of the most celebrated victims of the Jewish holocaust wrote: “In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

And contrary to what our nightly TV newscasts might imply with their graphic accounts of unspeakable crimes, political unrest and unimaginable acts of terrorism, the German-born teenager who died in the Bergen-Belsen Concentration camp in 1945, was absolutely right. The perpetrators of heinous crime are aberrations of our society. The truth is that most people are very good at heart, a goodness my colleague Matt Weedon and I are reminded of every year whilst recording video interviews with the recipients of Tobin Brothers Foundation Awards.  

Established in 1984 to mark the family funeral company’s 50th anniversary, the awards, made in February each year, are designed to recognize and provide financial assistance to small, low profile not-for-profit groups and organizations that are assisting the less fortunate members of our community. And what is so heartwarming to understand is that the award recipients who in most cases are unpaid volunteers, are making very positive differences to the lives of the many people they have elected to help.

In outer-suburban Whittlesea for example, volunteers under the patronage of a number of local churches assemble at a purpose-built premises they erected themselves to hand out food parcels every day to families in crises. Their reward they say is the gratitude they receive from the women and children who would otherwise go hungry.

Young Darly couple, Ben Sand Sherri-Leigh Land are helping to soften the grief of parents of still born babies, miscarriage and neo-natal death by donating to maternity hospitals all over Australia cuddle cots and memory boxes. These cuddle cots even allow grieving parents to bond with their little one in the comfort and privacy of their home.

While Taralye based in Blackburn is probably a name unfamiliar to most people, it’s an organization that’s been providing life-enhancing opportunities for Victorian children who are deaf, for almost fifty years. The Taralyle vision is that children who are deaf will listen, learn and speak to their full potential.

Wishin is an anagram for Womens Information Support and Housing in the North which ANGE and KELLY told us is unique in that it provides help for women who have become  homeless as a result of domestic violence. Upon seeking help from WISHIN, these women are found safe, secure accommodation and in most cases it’s a new beginning for them.

One of our most delightful encounters was with the Humour Foundation’s’ Clown Doctors - a group of male and female comedians whose visits to the wards of children’s Hospitals across Australia are aimed at delivering the health benefits of humour.

Meanwhile, children from multicultural backgrounds living in Melbourne’s high rise housing commission homes are being encouraged to ‘make the right choices’ in life with mentoring and homework supervision programs provided by the Richmond based Operation Stitches.

There are some four thousand children in Victoria today whose mother, father or both parents are serving prison sentences. But helping these kids adjust emotionally to having a mum or dad ‘on the inside’ is Prison Fellowship Australia which organizes school holiday camps and mentoring programs in the hope of reducing the chances that these youngsters will not also find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

So yes, as Anne Frank insisted so long ago,  people really are good at heart, and Tobin Brothers Funerals is very glad it has been able to assist those and many other not for profit organizations through monetary awards made each February by its charitable foundation.


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