Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

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Margaret Moloney was brilliant at many things, most notably tennis, Irish dancing and teaching. She was also a loyal footy fan, attending countless games to cheer on her beloved Tigers, had a great sense of fashion and a unique ability to see the potential beauty in things that had been discarded.

But if there are a few things that stand out more than anything else about Margaret, it is her kindness and willingness to help those less fortunate than herself.

Margaret, or “Margie” as she was affectionately remembered by her family and friends, was always conscious of the needs of others.

She carried this quality throughout her life, right until her last years when she left a gift in her Will to ChildFund Australia to help children in need around the world.

Lessons of love

The youngest of four girls, Margaret stood out from her sisters Patricia, Maureen and Bernadette; she was creative, followed her passions, and had enormous empathy for people.

Margaret, with her mother Merna, would regularly visit her uncle Jack when he had lost his wife and moved into a nursing home. After Jack passed away, Margaret insisted she and her mother continue visiting the home, taking afternoon tea for the residents to enjoy. “It was so typical of her thoughtfulness and kindness,” Patricia says.

She was a single mother and dedicated her life to making sure her daughter, Katherine (pictured above with Margaret), who had a disability, had the tools and support she needed to reach her full potential.

“Margie was completely selfless about Katherine,” Bernadette says. “She catered for Katherine’s needs and created opportunities for her to achieve. Katherine drove a car and lived independently, thanks to her beautiful mother.”

“She taught us many things and we hope that in her passing that we are vigilant and responsive to others less fortunate.”

Bernadette, margaret’s sister

A Mexican-inspired pie, chicken parmigiana and a pasta sauce passed down from Claudia’s mother are some of the recipes Claudia, Mario and two of their children Natalia and Orlando have been cooking together for ChildFund’s 2020 Challenge this October.

In addition to being able to have some fun and share some scrumptious meals together as a family, Claudia says the 2020 Challenge is an opportunity to teach her children important values such as kindness and charity.

“The Challenge is a way to teach my children to go beyond themselves, particularly in times like now when there’s a level of great challenge with the pandemic,” she says.

“I wanted to give my children the opportunity to be involved because they’ve shown interest before with other things I’ve done, where I’ve shown kindness or commitment to other things than myself.”

An opportunity to give back

Claudia’s commitment to giving back goes back to her roots: she grew up in a developing community in Peru and knows the positive difference charity and education can make in people’s lives.

“Although extreme poverty didn’t affect us directly when we were growing up, I was well aware of it,” she says. “In my family we had limitations and things that we had to go without.

“One of the key things that my parents and my family always instilled in us was a level of knowledge and education. We may not have had many material things but there was always the opportunity for us to become learned in certain areas; there was always an opportunity to go for it, rather than shy away from things.