100 food hampers warm Veteran hearts and bellies on ANZAC Day


A KIND benefactor honouring her late-husband’s memory has put huge smiles on the faces of 100 Veterans this ANZAC Day, organising for food hampers to be delivered to their door by national cricket coach Justin Langer.

Perth businesswoman Sarah Brolsma wanted to honour her late husband Ben Beale – who tragically died of a heart attack three years ago aged 47, and whose favourite day of the year was ANZAC Day – by supporting Veterans on the day of year they would normally get together with their mates to honour the fallen and their mates who served, or continue to serve.

So she reached out to RSLWA State Welfare Officer Rosalind Howat to see what could be done and, having recently started a business (Thinking of You Co.) that delivers gifts from the heart to those in need, grief or facing a tough time, she had the idea of hampers/boxes of love to leave for Veterans at their door.

Together with Rosalind, they determined that pantry staples were the way to go, with a few extra treats to show some extra love.

Sarah hit up friends at Coles, Herdsman Fresh and the Re-Store for donations before setting up busy bees to put the hampers together, which were delivered free by the The Ironing Fairy.

Sarah’s children and friends wrote special letters of gratitude to the Veterans that were included in the hampers.

Sarah said: “In this way, we honoured the Veterans and brought some hope to a day they would normally be celebrated by the nation.

“This way my family also honours the memory of my husband, their Dad, on his favourite day of the year.

“Ben never missed a Dawn Service, it was part of our family tradition.  Our children haven’t missed a service yet, even the day after losing their Dad they still got up early and we live streamed it.

“They continue to attend ANZAC Dawn Services in honour of their Dad and our past servicemen and women”.

Bassendean Veteran Andrew Sonter was blown away by the gesture … and could not believe his eyes to see Justin Langer in his front yard.

He said: “I was absolutely overwhelmed  when the Hamper turned up with the delivery crew and it was accompanied by Australia’s head coach of our national Cricket team, Mr Justin Langer.

“Please pass on my many thanks to all involved with the delivery of the hamper, not just for me, but for all the other Veterans as well.

“If possible, please say thankyou to Justin Langer, for taking the time out to have a quick chat with me on his very busy day. It not only lifted my spirits with the hamper, but to have a small chat with Justin. I can see that he is truly a humble human being and I wish him well in his future endeavours.

“During this current time, it is so great to see the good work being done by all last week. “

And Veteran Joan Daglish, the honorary Secretary of Menora Sub-Branch, wrote: “I thought I should let you know how much the hampers were appreciated.

“Of the five delivered (in our area) four people have been in touch and were over the moon, and so grateful.

“Personally, I was touched by the thankyou card that expressed the words ‘in gratitude’.

It brought a tear to my eyes. We say frequently “Lest we Forget” for those departed, but for those living still, it said a lot.’’

We agree, Joan. To everyone involved in bringing this beautiful gesture to pass – and especially Sarah Brolsma – RSLWA salutes you!