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Australia’s Real Life Superheroes - Part 1

Australia’s Real Life Superheroes

PART 1

Wouldn’t it be great if we could find out more about unsung heroes and help spread the word about all the amazing work that they are doing? Cue our new interview series …Australia’s Real Life Superheroes.

STORY BY:

KAREN LOCKE

DESIGN & LAYOUT BY:

VERVE DESIGN

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

HELLO PANTS

My 6 year old son is going through a phase that I’m sure all little boys go through – an infatuation with superheroes. His current favourite is Batman. He has announced that instead of being a fireman, policeman and doctor when he grows up, he is going to be a super hero. Cause superheroes can put out fires, catch the ‘baddies’ and save people all at the same time. Yup, makes sense.

Recently he asked me if superheroes are real, ‘in real life’? After thinking about it I answered ‘yes’ …but they were a little different from the superheroes in his books. Instead of flying through the sky and catching bad guys, these superheroes are doing all sorts of wonderful things. Like Martin Luther King who inspired millions of people to aspire for a more equal and just society or Albert Einstein who’s theories of relativity were a scientific breakthrough for all humanity.

But these are all well known, celebrated individuals. There are also heroes all around us – in our family, our neighbourhood, even those doing seemingly small things that can make a big difference to others and to the world around us.

This got us thinking… wouldn’t it be great if we could find out more about these unsung heroes and help spread the word about all the amazing work that they are doing? Cue our new interview series …Australia’s Real Life Superheroes.

SUPERHERO # 1

Name: Danielle Crismani
Superhero Tag: Digella
Weapons of Choice: A wooden spoon, apron, mixmaster and a laptop.
Super Powers: The ability to rally an army of people to bake, cook and deliver food and messages of support to those in need.

Our first Real Life Superhero is one with a truly inspiring and tear-worthy story. Meet Danielle Crismani, aka Digella. Danielle is the woman behind Baked Relief, a volunteer-run, not for profit organisation with a true altruistic beginning.

After deciding she could no longer sit by and just watch the televised coverage of severe flooding that was devastating parts of South East Queensland in 2011, Danielle baked some cupcakes for the State Emergency Services volunteers who were sandbagging not far from her home in Brisbane.

A small and simple act of kindness, but what happened next shows her true super powers.

Moved by how appreciative the SES volunteers were by, she put the word out about what she was doing on her blog, her Twitter account and Facebook page. Offers of help and baking came rushing in, and it soon became a movement of people who, unable to physically help with the disaster taking place, instead began baking snacks and home cooked meals for volunteers and those displaced by the rising flood waters. Incredible right?!

Since then Danielle has amassed a veritable army of volunteer bakers, cooks and helpers who mobilise during times of disaster and get behind Baked Relief whenever the call goes out. Baked items are reaching people who are recovering from floods, cyclone and droughts, to those working with Volunteering Qld, the SES, Qld Police, Fire and Ambulance workers, and occasionally to military helping with clean ups following natural disasters.

Danielle has rallied her troops when Cyclone Yasi bore a path of destruction in North Qld and when Christchurch was hit by earthquakes in early 2011. More recently Baked Relief has been providing baked goods to the many Queensland farmers battling one of the worst drought periods of their lifetime.

But it’s about more than just these parcels of baked goods, it’s also about showing people that they are not alone, that we know of their plight, and that we want to do whatever we can to help.

Earlier this year Danielle asked people to bake either Anzac biscuits or a fruit cake, both which have a long shelf life, and package it up with a ribbon and “a note of love to a farmer” out west. The response was massive and February saw Danielle and her team of volunteers collecting from drop-off points around Brisbane and distributing truckloads of biscuits and cakes to farming families all over outback Queensland.

With helpers coordinating in different areas of Queensland and almost 8,000 Facebook followers, Baked Relief is spreading it’s comforting home baked goods across the state and even further afield, touching the lives of many.

WANT TO HELP OUT?

Simply follow the Baked Relief homepage and respond to calls for help during times of disaster. Or if you’re not in the SEQ area, why not take Danielle’s lead and start up a movement in your own town or community. There are more details on how you can do this here.

Do you know of an Everyday Superhero who belongs on these pages?

Tell us about them! Email hello@confettimag.com.au
illustration by:

HELLO PANTS