The ‘gift of giving’ will be the ultimate stocking stuffer this festive season, with Queenslanders encouraged to make a charitable donation, to help people experiencing disadvantage and hardship.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk launched The Smith Family’s annual Christmas Appeal at Queensland Parliament today – with a $100,000 donation from the Queensland Government.
“Poverty should not be a barrier for a child to reach their full potential,” the Premier said.
“Sadly, we know 1 in 6 children in Australia grow up in disadvantage and require extra support to actively participate in education.
“The Smith Family is a well-recognised and respected Australian charity, with a track record of delivering for children in-need by providing financial support for education, and engaging children in a range of evidence-based learning programs.
“To launch their annual Christmas Appeal, my Government is pleased to provide a $100,000 donation, which will help more Australian children get the help they need – including access to The Smith Family’s innovative learning and mentoring programs.”
In September, The Smith Family launched a new five-year strategy, which includes a goal to double the reach of its Learning for Life sponsorship program by 2027 – from 58,000 students to 100,000 students nationally. This goal also includes all children on the program having a laptop and reliable internet access by 2027.
Earlier this year, The Smith Family’s annual Pulse Survey found many families who access their services are finding it harder to afford school essentials, as cost-of-living pressures escalate.
More than half of survey respondents said this was due to an increase in everyday expenses like groceries, rent and petrol.
General Manager of The Smith Family Alan Le May said the charity is hoping to raise $5.6 million nationally through the annual Christmas Appeal, to help more than 13,330 students access education support.
“At The Smith Family, we believe that education is one of the most powerful agents of change, and through this appeal, we are raising money for our suite of learning and mentoring programs,” Mr Le May said.
“These evidence-based programs can be life-changing for young people experiencing disadvantage, who don’t have the same opportunities as their peers.
“They give children confidence, keep them engaged in their schooling, open new career paths and improve their learning outcomes.
This is why we are calling on the Queensland community to help out those who need it most, so we can all enjoy a happy Christmas.”
The Smith Family will also distribute e-vouchers to families on their Learning for Life scholarship program, to ensure they can celebrate the festive season. That includes around 4,500 children in Queensland.
The Premier said The Smith Family was one of four charities to receive a $100,000 donation from the Queensland Government this month.
“We are beyond grateful for the service of charities which help to ensure all Queenslanders live active, healthy, happy lives – not just at Christmas, but year-round,” the Premier said.
“Later this month, I will present cheques of $100,000 to three additional charities – The Salvation Army, UnitingCare Community, and St Vincent de Paul Society.
“This will ensure their life-changing services continue to reach those in the greatest-need.
“I hope Queenslanders are inspired to make a donation on their own behalf – or in the name of someone they love – this Christmas.”