Tom Goodfellow was 11-years-old when he passed away in 2010 while waiting for a heart transplant.
“We were watching something silly on television one day, one of those home renovation shows when Tom turned to me and said ‘we should help other people when I get better mum, just like people helped us,’” Tom’s mum, Kerry said.
To honour her son’s wish, Kerry Goodfellow and the family began a memorial assistance fund in Tom’s name.
“We can’t do anything physically to help Tom now so this is our way of helping him,” Kerry said.
“We provide Memory Boxes to families that have lost a child. We also help local families who have a critically ill child with a long stay in hospital.”
The Tom Goodfellow Memorial Assistance Fund is a family volunteer organisation, run by Tom’s family including his grandparents, auntie and uncle.
During Tom’s illness, the Goodfellow’s received financial and emotional support from the Lions Club in Gilbert Valley, Heart Kids SA and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The first Memory Box was sent to a family in Mount Gambier just a few weeks ago.
“Making the boxes a reality has been a long process,” Kerry said.
“It took a while to find the right books and someone to make the boxes.”
The Gilbert Valley Men’s Shed came to the rescue, making the beautifully hand-crafted wooden boxes.
“They’ve been really awesome with it,” Kerry said.
“They’ve even done trials and they love doing it. They’ve been very helpful.”
Kerry said that one day she would love to be able to provide the Memory Boxes to families outside of Heart Kids SA, but for now they’re starting small.
”Families get the boxes about four weeks after, about the time everyone goes back to work. It’s just to remind them that people are still thinking about them,” she said.
The books contain a selection of gifts, including coping with grief books for different age groups depending on the family’s needs, forget-me-not seedlings, a Patch the Heart Lion plush with angel wings, magnets and a tin filled with M&M’s – Tom’s favourite chocolate.
“As well as the boxes we provide support for families where we can, with food or petrol vouchers” Kerry said.
Throughout the year, the Tom Goodfellow Memorial Assistance Fund holds community fundraising events.
2nd Annual Golf Day
Sunday, August 14
Saddleworth Gold Club
Registration from 11am, tee off 12pm.
$80 per team of four – Ambrose competition.
Tom’s Big Birthday Bash
Tuesday October 4
For more information about the Tom Goodfellow Memorial Assistance Fund and upcoming events, check out their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/The-Tom-Goodfellow-Memorial-Assistance-Fund