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For many people, Christmas is a special time to reunite with friends and family. We gather around tables, BBQs, pools and lounge room floors, surrounded by those closest to us – young and old alike – to share a meal, a conversation, a laugh, sometimes a tear or two, and most of all to share in joy and love.
This Christmas please support the Imagine Fund to spread joy to the thousands of people we care for — people like Marie and Robert.
Residents in our aged care homes still have dreams and aspirations. Many don’t have the family support or the means to be able to fulfil those dreams. The Imagine Fund was established to make their dreams come true.
A chance encounter with Marie was all it took for our General Manager Tara to consider the Imagine Fund.
Marie was outside reception waiting for her nephew, her only living family member, to pick her up for her birthday lunch. Marie shared her story with Tara…
“Marie had a really tough life, and described never doing anything nice for herself, and never having anything nice done for her,” Tara says.
“She always worked very hard, but she also always felt really different and didn’t know why. Then, in her late 70s, she was diagnosed with autism. I felt incredibly privileged to hear her story, but also very sad. So, I mentioned the Imagine Fund”.
When Tara asked Marie to think of a special experience, Marie had her answer at her fingertips — she wanted to dine in the sky and overlook the bright lights of Melbourne city.
Tara then explained that the Imagine Fund could make her dream come true…
“The look on her face was priceless, and it made the challenges that we have faced during COVID so much more bearable, being able to be a part of that moment,” Tara says.
“You find that you mix with people who are like you, who have almost given up on life. I suppose we need someone like you to come along and taxi us to a nice restaurant and give us something to look forward to,” Marie says.
“Life can be boring sometimes and this experience would be something I would never forget”.
Making dreams come true is only possible with generous donations from people like you – please donate today to help Marie fulfil her dream of dining in the sky.
Meanwhile, Robert, grew up with a love of cars. His face lights up when recalling his first car… “a white FJ Holden,” he beamed. Recalling his younger days, Robert reminisces about drives from his family home in Brunswick out to Bacchus Marsh to “really test the speed and smell the rubber,” he says with a grin.
“Robert doesn’t have a lot, but he is so happy with the simple things in life,” Tara says.
Robert joyfully describes how his son picks him up from Mercy Place Abbotsford to cruise down Yarra Boulevard in Melbourne’s inner north, stopping at the peak to take in the vast views of Melbourne city.
“When we told him we could get an Aston Martin to take him on these same roads… he was so excited, mouth wide open, smiling ear to ear and he said ‘Are you serious? Is this happening?” Tara says.
And why an Aston Martin?
“Well… it’s James Bond’s car, and I thought, wouldn’t it be amazing to get into a smart suit and step into an Aston, just like Mr Bond,” says Robert.
“He has just been so excited and so grateful, he is so deserving of this,” Tara says.
As you step into this festive season, please consider a gift to the Imagine Fund to help Robert live out his James Bond dream.
Robert and Marie are two of the first residents to have completed their Imagine Fund “dream applications”, as part of the new Imagine Fund program launching this Christmas. The ambitious new program aims to make the dreams of residents in Mercy Health residential aged care homes across Australia come true.
“I think coming into residential aged care, people have a preconceived notion that it’s the end. But giving somebody their dream, or giving them an experience they have never had, really emphasises that this is really just another chapter to their story,” Tara says.
The success of the Imagine Fund is only possible with your generous support.
Please make a donation today and help make dreams come true for the older people in our community. Thank you for your generosity and for making these dreams come true.
My best wishes for this festive season,
Chief Operating Officer
Mercy Health Foundation
Last reviewed November 21, 2022.