“The smoke alarm went off at seven o’clock at night.”
Nearly three years ago, Legacy widow Louise lost her home in a house fire. Her son had been staying with her at the time.
“He was a volunteer firefighter for eight years. He tried to put it out, but he couldn’t. He was really heartbroken that he didn’t save anything.”
Louise says he didn’t stand a chance against the blaze – not without the right equipment. And she lost everything… including her late husband Kevin’s Army service medals.
Louise’s husband was a proud Army man. If it had been up to him, Kevin would have served his country until his last breath.
“‘Kevin was a Vietnam veteran. I was so proud of him. His Army life was everything. But it was not an easy life for either of us.”
Louise did not fight in the jungles of Vietnam like Kevin did, but she remembers it vividly all the same.
“He’d never speak about it, but he used to talk in his sleep. I’ve lived his every day and every night… I still live it, really.”
After returning home, Kevin took great care to remember the families of others who had made the ultimate sacrifice. Something Louise explains that he faithfully did until the day he died.
“He always donated to Legacy. That was the charity dearest to his heart, because it supported the families of veterans.”
Although Louise had lost her home to the fire, her son was safe.
“All I could think was, “At least Jason is ok. At least I still have my son”. That was the main thing.”
Then, only four days later, Louise’s daughter, Kimberley, tragically passed away. And Louise was left with four devastated grandkids in her care.
Louise has been an active part of our Legacy family since Kevin passed away more than ten years ago. But she was never more grateful to have her Legacy family in her life than that horrific week in 2020.
Until then, she never dreamed that she would one day need the same support from Legacy that she and Kevin had once provided to others. But when she lost her home and her daughter in dizzying succession… the sudden addition of four extra mouths to feed…
Along with the necessity of a bigger house and all the other expenses that come with raising a child (multiplied by four!)… Louise was in dire financial straits.
Even more challenging, all of Louise’s four grandchildren live with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities… from ADHD to autism and sensory issues, dyslexia, OCD and PTSD. And with the oldest being 11 and the youngest only four, there are years of educational and specialist medical expenses ahead of her.
Your generosity enables Legacy to provide Louise with urgent emergency support for things like groceries and food vouchers.
“When my daughter, Kimberly, passed away, Legacy supported me by driving me to the funeral. They helped me with food vouchers and by bringing some food around to the kids. They even helped me cover some bills so I didn’t have to choose between paying them or taking care of the children.”
In addition to emergency support, Legacy has provided Louise and her grandchildren with practical and tailored support, like respite.
“I have some lung and heart problems and I’m also fighting basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) at the moment. When I had my first operation, my recovery was so bad and I had no extra support there. When I told Legacy about it, they helped me get five days of respite child care for the kids so I could recover after my next surgery.”
With your support, Legacy provides Louise, and widows like her, with ongoing advocacy and emotional support.
“Legacy helped me receive a $5,000 grant from another organisation. It was support for the children, whatever I needed to take care of them. It helped me buy new appliances to replace broken ones. They also helped me apply to Centrelink for 50 hours of child care every week and apply through veterans’ schemes to get some extra support for the children’s schooling.”
Louise is extremely grateful for Legacy’s support, and your generous donation to Legacy ensures Louise can always count on Legacy.
“Legacy has been my biggest support. Nobody out there understood me. No government agency understood me. But Legacy did. Without Legacy, I’d be lost. And if I ever run into any trouble, all I have to do is pick up the phone.”
Please give as generously as you can this Remembrance Day. Your kind gift means support that War Widows like Louise can count on… so she can promise her grandkids the safe childhood that their grandfather fought to protect.
Help Legacy keep our promise
Support widows like Louise by donating to Legacy today. To a grieving widow and grandmother like Louise, your generosity is the promise of a lifetime of support.
“Legacy has been my biggest support. Without Legacy, I’d be lost. And if I ever run into any trouble, all I have to do is pick up the phone.”
Legatees are Legacy’s most dedicated volunteers. They commit to supporting families and build deep personal relationships to help them thrive.
Legatee relationships provide relief. Knowing that there is 24/7 comfort available for widows like Louise when they need it.How to get involved