Ways Redlanders can help the Smith family

SMITH FAMILY: The Smith Family brings back the smiles with gifts for children who might otherwise miss out this Christmas.
SMITH FAMILY: The Smith Family brings back the smiles with gifts for children who might otherwise miss out this Christmas.

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.

With a national appeal target of $3.7m, the education charity aims to raise $400,000 in Queensland through its annual Christmas Appeal, which will help nearly 1,000 disadvantaged children with the extra learning support they need in 2018.

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 more than 4,000 children in Queensland 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.

“In Queensland, we need to raise $400,000 by Christmas to help us deliver essential learning support programs for children who may not even have the basics they need to attend school,” The Smith Family’s Queensland General Manager Alan Le May said.

“For children living in poverty, school is yet another place they go without. 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.

“We know that growing up in disadvantage 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. In Queensland, we have been collecting donations of new toys and books with the generous support of the public. In the lead-up to Christmas, we will deliver toy and book packs to more than 4,000 children in need across the state,” he said.

Ways of helping the campaign include 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 and volunteering time, skills and energy to support The Smith Family’s work.

In the Redlands area, The Smith Family delivers a range of learning support programs for disadvantaged children, including: student2student (where students are matched with a peer buddy to improve their reading), after-school Learning Clubs (offering support from volunteer tutors), iTrack (online mentoring for high-school students) and Work Inspiration (providing young people with opportunities to experience the world of work).

The community can purchase online toys and books until Christmas. Donations to The Smith Family’s Christmas Appeal can be made via the website: thesmithfamily.com.au