With the festive season fast approaching, The Smith Family is calling on Australians to share their Christmas giving to ensure children in struggling families don’t miss out and can look forward to a better new year.
Launching its Share Christmas campaign, the national children’s education charity aims to raise $3.7million through its annual Christmas Appeal to provide essential learning support programs for nearly 9000 children in need next year.
‘‘For children living in poverty, school is just another place they go without,’’ The Smith Family’s chief executive officer Lisa O’Brien said.
‘‘They go without the right uniform and school shoes; they go without the extra learning support they need to keep up in class.
‘‘Some children can get so tired of failing that they simply stop trying.
‘‘This can set a pattern for their whole life that becomes increasingly hard to break — unless we intervene early and provide long-term support throughout their education journey.’’
Carrying on the traditions of its Christmas origins, The Smith Family is also appealing to the generosity of the Australian public to donate new toys and books for 20000 disadvantaged children who are supported by the charity’s Learning for Life sponsorship program.
Christmas giving is a key part of The Smith Family’s history, stretching back 95 years.
‘‘The Smith Family was started by a group of businessmen giving gifts to orphaned children on Christmas Eve,’’ Dr O’Brien said.
‘‘While the focus of our work has shifted to breaking the poverty cycle through education, delivering toys and books is a tradition we’ve continued to help children feel included.
‘‘We know that growing up in poverty can mean going without all year round, but it’s particularly hard for children at this time of year.
‘‘Sadly, thousands of Australian kids won’t receive a gift this Christmas because their families can’t afford it.’’
Support The Smith Family’s Share Christmas campaign by:
●Making a financial donation to help disadvantaged children access vital learning programs;
●Purchasing a toy or book online to donate to a child in need;
●Registering to host a toy and book collection in your community or workplace; or
●Volunteering your time, skills and energy to support The Smith Family’s work.
●To find out more, visit thesmithfamily.com.au