The St Vincent de Paul Society are encouraging the Canberra community to get involved in the Vinnies Knock On Effect appeal.
The online campaign, running throughout March, aims to highlight the knock-on effect that donations and fundraising can have to Canberrans in need.
The St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn CEO, Barnie van Wyk said with the campaign being online it can reach a broader audience, get more families involved, and spread more fundraising awareness.
“Every five dollars you donate, every hour that you provide of your time, every piece of clothing you donate and even every smile you give somebody has a knock-on effect,” Mr van Wyk said.
An Iraqi refugee family living in Canberra has recently experienced how valuable the Knock On Effect is in a time of need.
When Sameer’s family was experiencing financial difficulties, heightened by an unaffordable energy bill, they were then encouraged to contact Vinnies.
“Within days of making the call, two Vinnies members arrived at our house to help us,” Sameer said.
“They gave us food vouchers which was so helpful, because it meant the money we would pay for groceries we could instead use to pay the energy bill.”
With support from Vinnies, the family were able to manage their bills. To ensure they didn’t end up in the same situation again, they were referred to the ACT Government’s Home Energy Efficiency program, which supports low-income households to reduce their energy bills.
The family received further support with the St Joe’s youth program which focuses on building children’s self-esteem, social confidence and improving teamwork and leadership skills.
“The youth program helped my kids so much. It helped build their personalities, to become more independent and to make friends,” Sameer said.
Sameer’s family is just one of many who Vinnies assists every year through their varied programs and individualised assistance.
To make a Knock On Effect donation, visit https://donate.vinnies.org.au/event/knock-on-effect.
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