A letter penned by a Year 5 Mango Hill State School student moved crossing supervisor Andi Halliwell to tears – of happiness.
Andi, who has worked on the school crossing since January, says she was touched by the letter, which praises her for “making people much happier”.
“It was mind-blowing, because I was just being me – I have never been thanked for being me,” Andi says.
“I read two lines and started sniffing.’’
“Hello lollipop lady, I’m sure you know who I am because I walk across the crossing every day,” the letter began.
“I may not be the brightest kid every day with my head hanging down or into my phone but you make me feel much better.”
Andi says she “annoyed” her fellow crossing supervisors for about two years to join the crew before a vacancy become available this year.
“These ladies have been my mentors – I have been lucky enough to learn from them.
“It’s a reflection on (crossing supervisors) Sam and Jill that little things like saying `good morning’ can change someone’s day.”
Andi says she will treasure the letter and it serves as a reminder that her philosophy of making people smile makes a real difference.
“Although I have bad days, all it takes is for someone to say `have a nice day’ and already I know someone cares about me,” the letter read.
“I also wanted to say it’s not just me who thinks you’re a great lollipop lady, everyone does, and I’m sure of it so please keep doing what you’re doing because it makes people much happier.”
The letter was signed “From the kid who walks across the crossing”.
Fellow supervisor Samantha Topping, who has worked in the role for three years, says it is a privilege to make a difference in the lives of pupils and their families, with pupils regularly showing off their art and talking about their day at school.
“When we started, we were the only crossing ladies employed by the Department of Education because we were working on school grounds and not on the road.
“During COVID-19 it was really difficult – the children of essential workers were so frightened, so we tried to reassure them,” Sam says.
“Our kids were off school, but we had to come to work, so they sat in the carpark on camp chairs – the community and the school are really special.”
Andi now knows who the mystery letter writer is, having received a follow-up note a couple of weeks later.
“She gave me another one on Wednesday – it gave her a real buzz to walk away seeing my grin. She likes writing letters to thank people.
“She’s just beautiful – she’s one that I have to make smile.”