Dear Valued Supporter,
The Christmas season is nearly upon us. Excitement is building as families, especially those with young children, look forward to all the colour, joy and wonder (and of course the gifts and delicious foods) the festive season can bring.
This isn’t the case for many people who rely on Lutheran Care for support. Christmas can be a harsh reminder of their daily struggles and stress; the lack of happiness, love and hope in their lives. The extra pressure of providing a festive meal for the table and presents under the tree when you’re already worried about paying for staple groceries, staying on top of bills or keeping a roof over your head can mean heart-breaking decisions must be made and something has to give.
This sadly was the reality for Emily and her two young children at this time last year. There were no celebrations, no gifts, and there certainly was no joy! Instead, the holiday was spent searching for a safe place to live. Unfortunately, they have continued to experience homelessness throughout the year.
Emily’s children attend a local school near Family Zone, Lutheran Care’s parenting and family hub in Adelaide’s northern suburbs. We found out about the family’s situation recently, after staff noticed Emily was visibly distressed at the hub one morning. She told us she felt like a failure as the family had just spent the night in her car at the school.
Our staff leapt into action and worked together to provide the necessary support for the family, promptly organising for them to be placed in short-term emergency accommodation. We also arranged for Emily to meet with one of our financial counsellors. Together they created a workable budget. This helped her feel more confident with financial decision-making and gave her hope moving forward.
Over the next few weeks, Emily continued to visit Family Zone, while our staff continued to build a strong connection with her. When they showed compassion and a genuine willingness to help her family, Emily broke down. She shared that since leaving her former partner last year, she has found it difficult to secure housing in an unaffordable rental market and has been moving between friends’ houses to survive.
Emily continues to engage with our services and is hopeful of gaining safe and affordable housing soon. We will keep assisting her during this difficult time and be there for the family this Christmas. Our programs, including Christmas hampers and Emergency Relief, will ensure children like Emily’s don’t miss out at this special time of year. For the first time in a long time, they are excited about Christmas.
Unfortunately Emily’s story is just one of many. A significant number of South Australians are facing a season of uncertainty and housing insecurity due to the increased cost of living. In just two years, demand for our Emergency Relief services has risen by 260%.
We will also support other families this year through emergency accommodation, domestic violence support, financial and relationship counselling, and so much more. But we can’t do it alone. We desperately need your help as we work with families in crisis.
Christmas can be an exceptionally lonely and challenging time for someone who is marginalised or experiencing hardship. This festive season, I encourage you to take the time to think about giving a helping hand to individuals who are less fortunate by donating to our Christmas Appeal. Your selfless gift this Christmas will make a real difference and help us assist more families in need. You really can change lives, and even save them.
Every blessing to you and your family for the Christmas and holiday season ahead.
Chief Executive Officer
We provide a variety of donation options that may be relevant to you. If you have any queries, please contact our office on (08) 8269 9333.
Tax Deductibility Every donation received is used to fund Lutheran Care services in SA and NT. All donations over $2 are tax deductible. If you opt in for regular giving, you will receive one tax deductible receipt at the end of the financial year.