Volunteers With Heart

Sands Queensland is very lucky to have the volunteers we do. Each person brings their own skills and abilities, helping out in different ways to form a fantastic team.

Melissa Zaini

Melissa began volunteering with Sands in 2014 and in that short time has successfully established herself as a new regional contact in the Innisfail area. Melissa not only volunteers as a parent supporter on the 24 hour phone line, but also holds support meetings for Innisfail families.

‘My nomination for Sands Queensland Volunteer goes to Melissa for all her hard work she has put in setting up the Innisfail group and running the support meetings.  She is passionate and loving natured, which is what Sands needs in volunteers.

She was a big part of our Cold Cot fundraiser and Walk to Remember last year. It is so great to work with her.’ ~ Kate Minto, Butterfly Co-ordinator

Melissa and local Member Curtis Pitt at the Cairns Walk to Remember
Melissa and local Member Curtis Pitt at the Cairns walk to Remember


Dani Hall

Dani is an active participant in our online community, offering support to families in the Sands Queensland online support group, taking part in online events and even organising online events to give other parents an opportunity to connect and support one another even over long distances.












Dani’s son Harrison is a great volunteer too, helping Mum participate in online events. All in memory of his big brother Jasper.

For the last two years Dani has organised our Christmas Gift Exchange where parents are paired up and send a gift in memory of their baby to each other.

‘After the first Christmas Gift Exchange in 2013, there was a lot of positive feedback from parents who participated. Some were published in the February 2014 Hourglass. I remember reading one from Natalie about how a butterfly whose colour and type she had never seen before landed on her the day she sent her gift, and how she believed it was a sign from the baby of the parent she sent the gift to. She commented about how it was a very special gift, and this story has always stuck with me.  Through the Christmas Gift Exchange, bereaved parents were thinking about each other’s babies and it is so wonderful that we think of each other and support each other like that. It made me determined to do the gift exchange every year.’ ~ Dani

Dani volunteers in memory of her son Jasper – ‘It is a way for me to support bereaved parents through their unimaginable pain, and makes me feel like I am connected to Jasper at the same time.’

At the Walk to Remember with Harrison and husband Corey, honouring Jasper’s memory.

Thank you Dani for the care and commitment you have made to helping the Sands online community. You make the group more connected and bring meaning to our motto of ‘parents supporting parents’.

Nell Hakfoort

Nell found support at Sands in 2014 after the death of her baby Jasper.   Ever since she came to Sands, Nell has been a volunteering powerhouse attending the monthly volunteer day at Sands House and contributing her amazing graphic design skills. If you’ve seen our Save Sands Gala materials, you’ve seen some of Nell’s work. In late March Nell and her teenage son Oliver also volunteered at a garage sale at Sands House staged by midwives from The Wesley Hospital, helping to make the day a great success.

Nell hard at work in preparation for the very successful garage sale with midwives from The Wesley Hospital
Nell hard at work in preparation for the very successful garage sale with midwives from The Wesley Hospital







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