Story – Kathy Edwards, write and volunteer for Community Friends
It is a motto that by which Caroline lives.
It is a particularly powerful motto, given what is behind Caroline. For more than 12 years, she lived in her car, unable to get work and unable to find suitable housing. Even more striking, is that for much of that time, she had her four children with her.
“Some of the places we stayed in,” she says “were just a nightmare. They were unsafe and frightening, and many times, we just had to leave.”
Caroline is originally from Far North Queensland but, when she fell on hard times, she and her children drifted south.
“Honestly,” she says of those difficult years, “my guitar saved me. I was unable to get work and didn’t know what to do. I had learned to play the guitar many years before and one day when I was living in Toowoomba, I picked one up and just kept practising. Slowly, I got better and started busking. That was how I survived.”
Of course, this time was also tough on her children who couldn’t go to school and, Caroline also had to homeschool them all.
I consider it to be one of my greatest achievements that my kids have all turned into good people,” she says. “They learned to stick together and not judge people unfairly. I have five grandchildren now, which makes me so proud.”
Things started to get better for Caroline when her (now) partner saw her performing and asked her to come and perform with him. “He scooped me up and whisked me away to Brisbane,” she smiles.
Caroline is new to our giveaway – she has only been coming for two weeks, but she has been surprised and delighted by how free of judgment the event is – and how delightful is everyone she has met.
“I know first-hand how valuable are organisations like this one. And right now, with COVID, so many people are really struggling.”
Although she hasn’t finalised her plans yet, Caroline has also offered to play music on our Giveaway on Christmas Day. “Music is my way of giving back and, I’d love to help add some festive cheer.”