How a little girl's pocket money changed lives
SIX-YEAR-OLD Freja brought warmth to hearts and bellies when she used her pocket money to buy hot meals for Rockhampton's most vulnerable.
Freja's father Julian Lawton said she came up with the idea after childhood curiosity led to an eye-opening experience.
"It all started when we walked the dogs down by the river and she was questioning my partner and me about where all the homeless people eat and whatnot,” Julian said.
"We gave her a bit of a run down to sort of explain they haven't got anywhere.
"We got home and she counted her money out of her money box and asked her mother if we could go to the supermarket and buy some pasta and mince.”
Freja managed to fill almost 50 hungry stomachs last Sunday with spaghetti bolognese and tuna pasta salad using $38 of her hard earned savings.
A local police officer also lent a helping hand in making sure everyone who needed a feed knew where to go.
"We organised it with PLO (Police Liaison Officer) Malcolm Doyle to let everyone down there know Freja would be there at about 4 o'clock Sunday to feed as many as she could,” Julian said.
"We appreciate what Malcolm Doyle did in helping Freja to organise it and letting people know that was her plan and where she'd be.”
Friendships were formed as the afternoon wore on with one homeless man being brought to tears by the little girl's generosity.
"Yeah there was a few of them who sat down and had a talk to her and she connected with two old blokes pretty well,” Julian said.
"They all sat down there and had a talk and one of the old blokes started crying, then Freja started crying and they gave each other a bit of hug and kept talking.
"It was pretty good, it was a good experience for her to go through, a bit of an eye opener on what people who haven't got much have to go through in everyday life.”
Julian and his partner Nicole were incredibly proud of Freja who has taught them to look at the world in a new light.
"It's a moment that we'll never forget, it's sort of opened our eyes up as well,” Julian said.
"Being parents I suppose they're teaching us as much as we're teaching them about life values...”