Did you know it’s possible to sponsor a disadvantaged Australian child through The Smith Family – and that every dollar donated goes towards achieving that child’s educational goals? Ultimately we at The Smith Family want to help as many young Australians in need to reach their full potential as possible and by coming on board as a sponsor for just $39 a month, you can help turn a child’s life around.
Single mother of three, Tina from New South Wales, has three children who have been sponsored since 2006 and here she explains what the support has meant to her and her family.
“My eldest children have vision and hearing impairments. They used to go to school for the deaf, but have now started going to mainstream schools. It’s great, although it means they want to do the same things as all the other kids and they can’t a lot of the time. If I didn’t have the support of The Smith Family I wouldn’t be able to send them on school excursions which would be just one more thing that set them apart from their friends.
As well as excursions, it means I can send them to deaf and vision camps respectively, which are so important for them because for three days a year they don’t stand out. Day to day my 11-year-old son in particular is singled out a lot for what he can’t do, but when he’s on vision camp, he gets to be the same and do the same things as everyone else.
Without Learning for Life sponsorship I’d probably be panicking every time a school excursion came along. Last year the deaf camp was only three weeks before the Year 6 camp and they were $300 each. This was without considering the costs of the other kids’ camps! Their hearing and visual aids cost a lot too.
Sponsors also report finding the experience of assisting a family extremely rewarding. Sydney-based sponsor Jill has sponsored a primary school student for the last three years and explains why.
“I was doing some research into volunteering with a Smith Family reading program, when I saw that you could sponsor an Australian child through Learning for Life. I really liked the idea of helping out a kid here in Australia. Having come from a family of two school teachers, I realise the value of education and was raised to be aware and considerate of those who didn’t have access to the options I did.
I’ve seen what it’s like for those kids who are left out of school activities, who missed out on new things for school and how cruel other kids can be. If something as simple as sponsorship can make a child’s school life better, you really need to help out if you can. It’s an easy way to do something thoughtful and kind for someone you’ll never meet. I know there’s a tangible benefit at the other end of my sponsorship for that child and their family.
About twice a year I receive an update about my sponsored child’s progress and it’s great that the parents can contribute as well, so you see two levels of appreciation. I was thrilled to see that my child was able to go on all her school excursions last year, plus buy the new pens and pencils she needed. Her Mum also advised her daughter’s reading and spelling had improved too which was great to see!
More than 33,000 Australian children are already sponsored through The Smith Family and 117,000 children and their families were supported by The Smith Family during the last financial year, but with 605,000 children living in jobless homes*, there is an urgent need for more support.