Our community of unstoppable changemakers are the ambitious instigators of an exciting new revolution in kids’ health. Discover how they are giving, volunteering, supporting and fundraising.  

Growing up spending most of her childhood in hospital, Marie has dedicated her time to giving back to the services that made an instrumental difference to her life.

Tell us about yourself and your connection to SCHF? 

Santina: When Marie was little she had  three major surgeries and every time we would drive by the hospital, Marie would point to it and say ‘that’s my hospital, that’s where I got better’. Instead of being scared of it she was very excited to see her hospital every time. Unbeknown to us, when she moved to live independently, she caught a bus to the Sydney Children’s Hospital because it was a fundraising appeal day. She had saved all year and took her money box in. How we found out is that my niece rang us really excited and told us ‘I want to do what Marie is doing, that’s so wonderful’. We quickly jumped on Facebook to the Channel Nine page and there she was! So, every year she would wait to the fundraising appeal time to take her money box in.

What inspired you to get involved?  

Santina: During the COVID lockdown, Marie wanted to do more to help the kiddies and kept asking ‘what else can I do to help’. She loves making craft, so I suggested she start creating things, sell them and give the profits to support the children’s hospital. And that’s how her little business started and it really took off. Even though we couldn’t fly anywhere, her products took off – friends, and friends of friends were ordering and we were mailing products to London, Germany, all around Queensland, all around New South Wales and even the US. 

Marie: My name is Marie and I love to make gifts and sell them. I love to give the profits to support Sydney Children’s Hospital. Seeing kiddies at the hospital get better, makes me very happy. 

Why are you proud to be a part of SCHF’s Movement of Many? 

Santina: It’s been amazing to see Marie involved in the Movement of Many. It’s brought so many people together and been really energising. Marie has been out in the community spreading the word as someone who has experienced the wonderful care from the hospital, she loves giving back.  

In the community, people have noticed Marie’s work and on Australia Day 2023 she was awarded a medallion and certificate for her community work – it’s something that we will treasure and keep in our hearts for the rest of our lives. 

From a young age, Marie has always had a great energy and to see it reach this level is amazing. It started from a money box to this level where she now contributes profits from her business to support the hospital. Just recently she donated $3,000 and another Foundation donor doubled it, so it became $6,000.  

I’m so proud that she turned what she’s been through into a positive to help other children get better – she gets so much from giving which is just wonderful to witness. 

Do you have a message to others out there who are thinking of getting involved? 

Marie is going to continue to support year after year as it gives her a lot of pleasure to see it’s going towards such a great cause – as she’s been through it all when she was little.  

I remember when Marie was in hospital one of the therapists asked her - ‘would you like to make chocolate crackles’ – anything to get her mind off the pain and what they were going through. The whole team, everyone was amazing.

To find out how you can join our Movement of Many, click here.

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Collage of Sydney Children's Hospitals Foundation staff and donors making a heart symbol with their hands