The Give Where You Live Foundation is calling on the community to help continue to create a community where all people and places thrive, through Christmas and beyond by supporting their 2023 Christmas Appeal.
While Christmas is usually a time of joy, for many individuals and families in our community who are facing homelessness and struggling to put food on the table, it can be one of the most difficult times of the year.
Bill Mithen, CEO of the Give Where You Live Foundation said that it is evident the impact the increasing cost of living is having on our most vulnerable community members.
“As the cost of living continues to increase, we are seeing the impact it is having on many in our community. While some people are finding themselves in need for the first time in their lives, thousands in our community who were already vulnerable, are finding themselves even more so.”
Latest research by the Give Where You Live Foundation shows that 90% of Geelong food relief agencies have experienced service demand growth over the past year and 63% of agencies report that clients needs have become more complex.
“For families facing hardship or living on low incomes and struggling to afford basic needs, the Christmas period can add significant stress and financial pressure. This Christmas we are calling on the community to help us continue to create a community where all people and places thrive, through Christmas and beyond.”
One way the Foundation is working to help the community thrive is through its own Community Choice voucher program. Community Choice provides access to basic necessities including food, material aid, and support for prescriptions to people experiencing crisis in our community.
So many in our community are feeling the effects of the rising cost of living and struggling to put food on the table, none more so than Camilla*, a grandmother of five, who is caring for her daughter and grandchildren because of family violence.
Camilla, who says the future is now looking good, thanks to the Give Where You Live Foundation’s Community Choice vouchers and community partner, Uniting Vic for helping give her and her family the chance to thrive.
Camilla says her story begins the night her daughter called for help as she had been violently assaulted.
“I first needed some help after my daughter rang in the middle of the night. She’d had the living daylights belted out of her.”
Not wanting to let her daughter or grandchildren go back to the family violence situation, Camilla had no choice but to have them move in with her. Constantly living in fear, the family has moved on several occasions to remain safe.
“It’s been tough, it’s been a struggle. But we’ve got there. But if it hadn’t been for your support, we would never have survived.”
The Give Where You Live Foundation’s Community Choice vouchers and funding to Uniting programs provided support to Camilla and her family with food, a community and the support to thrive.
“A donation to the Christmas Appeal will enable the Give Where You Live Foundation to continue supporting the community through initiatives including our Community Choice voucher program and a range of support to organisations delivering programs assisting people in our community, like Camilla and her family who may be experiencing homelessness, food insecurity or long-term unemployment.” Bill Mithen said.
“We can’t do it without our supporters, our community, who enable us to meet the needs of those in our community who need it most. Together we can help make the Geelong region a place where everyone thrives, though Christmas and beyond.”
To support the Foundation’s Christmas Appeal, make a donation at https://give-where-you-live-christmas-appeal-2023.raisely.com/