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A car should not be a child's home at Christmas


For children like Zoe*, Christmas day will probably be just like any other–full of sadness and fear.

Zoe’s world fell in with no warning of what was to come.

“We had a normal life; we were a typical happy family,” says her mum Anna. “We had no idea how fast things could change.”

  • Read more about Zoe's story
      First Zoe’s fit and strong dad Matt was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer. As he got sicker, he couldn’t work anymore. Then Zoe’s mum gave up her own job to care for him. With no money coming in, the medical bills ran through nearly all their savings. Then, after a brave fight, sadly Matt passed away. Anna’s entire focus became on desperately searching for work, trying to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.
      When Anna’s job searches got her nowhere, the lowest rents became impossible to pay. Family couldn’t help, so for a while they stayed at a friend’s place–then she re-located.
      Packing a few small suitcases with the belongings they hadn’t sold to buy food, they moved into their car.
      Tonight 116,000 Australians won’t have a safe place to sleep.
      I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s sad to think of children experiencing homelessness at any time of the year.
      But at Christmas, a time for joy and laughter, it seems the most unfair.
      Anna saw Wesley Mission’s name in an ad while she was searching for work and picked up the phone. Thanks to the compassion of our supporters like you, one of our Wesley Mission case workers, Sandra, was assigned to Anna and Zoe.
      “I’d felt completely alone and suddenly someone was listening to me who cared about our problems and was going to help us,” remembers Anna. “That first meeting, I just broke down in tears and I couldn’t stop crying. It was overwhelming, the relief.”
      Sandra didn’t rest until she had found secure accommodation for them. She also linked Anna with support to find a job in administration, so she could start providing for herself and Zoe.
      “When we were living in our car, I just felt so sad and so helpless and my self-esteem was at rock bottom. I was trying so hard, but it felt like nothing I could do would ever change the situation we were in. Without someone helping us, we’d still be there.”
      Christmas should be special, not sad, especially for children. Please help us make it happier for those hit by difficulties, who haven’t had much reason to smile.
      With Christmas blessings,
    keith v garner signature
      Rev Keith V Garner AM
      P.S. Giving to Wesley Mission eases the pain of families like Zoe’s. I hope they can count on you today.
      *Names, photos and details changed to protect privacy.

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