(08) 8269 9333 stateoffice@lutherancare.org.au
A mother and her young sun watch the sun rise over a dam. The text reads give someone comfort this winter and the Lutheran Care logo and Winter Appeal 2024 appear at the bottom of image.
This is the story of a strong and resilient young mother. This mother fled her homeland, moving across the world to keep her child safe and give him a better life. When she reached the limits of how far her love could carry them, fortunately, she was put in touch with Lutheran Care. She received life-changing help; help that was made possible thanks to incredible supporters like you. 
A mother holds son up to watch the sunset at the dam.
Young boy being held by his mother stared into camera.
Winter Appeal

What would you do to save your child?

Mariam* fled to Australia to escape horrific family violence which had resulted in the shocking death of her sister. With their own lives under threat, it was fear and hope that led them to pursue a new life, leaving everything and everyone they had ever known behind.

After this ordeal, imagine the shock of landing in a new country; a new culture, with nothing but a few small bags. Still, Mariam counted her blessings every day for the opportunity to settle in South Australia. Finding out they were eligible for Community Housing and seeing her son start to smile again made up for the isolation they felt; disconnected from family, and struggling to make local connections and engage with services in a new language.

But, buoyed by love and the knowledge she’d done the right thing to keep her boy safe, she was looking forward to watching him thrive at school. She began looking for work so she could become an active, contributing, citizen.

Very quickly her new world was ripped apart. The perpetrator of the violence had found them. He was lodging court action for custody of her child.

Distraught, fearful and with no idea how the courts system worked in this new land, Mariam was referred to Lutheran Care. 

Her story, bravery and selflessness deeply moved our team. She shared that she was going without food so her son could eat. Understandably, her mental health was in tethers. She had no idea how to get a lawyer and no means to pay them.

Firstly, we opened our Emergency Relief food pantry to the family so they would not go hungry. We supported Mariam with much-needed counselling to start to process the trauma she’d experienced. Our financial counsellors worked with her to share the skills she needed to stretch her limited budget further. We also supported them through our Christmas Hamper program.

Through our Community Connections program, we introduced Mariam to Legal Aid, and other integral supports including the Multicultural Communities Council of SA, a local employment network, and a nearby Community Centre. We became part of her team.

We shared Mariam’s elation when she called from the courthouse; “We won!”

Mariam and her son are now living in safety, embracing their new lives in Australia. Her parents have now joined them, so her son has additional support from his grandparents.

Mariam wanted to share these words of thanks with you. “I am not lost anymore,” she said.

“I can access these services to establish myself and get on my feet again to provide better for my family.

“I feel home and alive at my new place after connecting with [Lutheran Care]. The pure light support I was provided, in the time of darkness, is above and beyond.

“My sky big.”

Winter is a time of increased need for our services. Please give generously, if you can, so no one is alone, cold, hungry or in despair at this challenging time of year.

*While our client’s name has been changed to protect her confidentiality, this is a true story of her experience and the assistance she received from Lutheran Care. 

Young boy watches the sunrise on a bridge.
Mother watches the sunrise whilst holding her young son.
Lutheran Care

How You Can Help

There are many families out there that need some help this Winter. Your donation to Lutheran Care will help us provide Emergency Relief and ongoing support to people in crisis.

Family walk holding hands in the distance at sunset.

We sincerely thank you for whatever you can give this Winter. We are truly heartened by your willingness to make a difference for someone you may never meet.

402 new clients presented to our Financial Counselling team in 2021/22.
402 new clients presented to our Financial Counselling team in 2021/22.
32% of clients accessing our Emergency Relief service are homeless or currently experiencing insecure housing
A total of 1108 counselling and case management sessions were offered through our Family and Relationship services in 2021/22. An increase of 33.8% on the previous year.
In 2021/22 Lutheran Care Emergency Relief provided crisis relief services and food and basic necessities to 1648 Australians and their families across South Australia and Northern Territory
Demand for our Emergency Relief service has risen by 260 per cent in two years.
Right now, 85 per cent of enquiries for our homelessness services are from clients seeking services for the first time.