Will Berger's initiative to obtain iPads for the Benalla Health day activities program resulted in a donation from a local politician.By Monique Freer
When 12-year-old Will Berger visited the Benalla Hospital day activities program, he always made sure to sneak in a packet of Kingston biscuits for his friend Ray Hill.
Despite more than 70 years between them, the two would share the pack before Will would get out his iPad and teach Mr Hill and the other program participants how to use the technology.
‘‘They just had a fiddle, touching it and seeing that it moves; I would show them some photos that I’ve taken of animals at home,’’ Will said.
‘‘They enjoyed playing Candy Crush, they played on that a lot.
‘‘Just seeing how much this has benefited them — just taking my iPad in — how much they’ve enjoyed having an iPad in there to use, I thought let’s try and get one for them.’’
Will wrote a letter to Member for Benalla Bill Sykes to find out how he could obtain funding for three iPads for the program.
However, Dr Sykes was so impressed by Will’s initiative that he donated a 3G Tablet to the program last week.
“I congratulate young Will for going out of his way to help people in his community and for his resourcefulness in finding a way to bring technology to this group of people,’’ Dr Sykes said.
A Grade 6 student at Benalla P-12 College, Will began spending two hours each week with the day activities program participants as part of a Rotary Junior Community Service program.
However, he soon found that he wanted to spend more time there, and extended his regular visits out to two terms instead of the required 10 weeks.
He formed a particularly special bond with Mr Hill, whose face lights up whenever he sees his ‘‘partner in crime’’.
‘‘He’s worked hard for it. It’s very, very good and he’s a good lad, always there to help you,’’ Mr Hill said. ‘‘He’s my back-up.’’
Benalla P-12 College Clarke St campus principal John Podubinski said Will’s initiative to further enrich the day activities program was impressive.
‘‘It actually reinforces what the program is all about; initiative and thinking about other people,’’ Mr Podubinski said. ‘‘I’m extremely proud.’’
The Rotary program is designed to encourage students to volunteer their time helping others in their local community and develop leadership skills.
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