We have recently been contacted by Kellie Keall, the Community Engagement Coordinator at Anglicare WA, with regard to the Perth College contribution to the Christmas ‘Back to School’ appeal.

Below is a short summary from Kellie of the positive impact that has resulted from our community efforts.

The Back to School Christmas Appeal was able to provide families from Bunbury to Joondalup with stationery and backpacks. Not only did Perth College provide the donations, they also sent in a small army of Year 9 PC students to sort and pack the back packs. This resulted in beautifully curated backpacks for different age groups.

Gifts were distributed to most of Anglicare WA’s metropolitan offices, as well as our Bunbury office. East Perth, Mandurah, Rockingham, Joondalup, Midland, Wanneroo, Armadale and Gosnells offices all received a delivery of backpacks for their clients. The reach of the donations reflects the amazing response we had to the appeal this year. We were very pleased that so many of our young clients were able to receive a backpack.

We have received feedback from our service workers across Perth about the donated backpacks. The feedback has been beautiful. The best way to demonstrate this is with words from the support workers themselves, who gave the backpacks out to their clients just before Christmas:

This family is a young family of 6. They have 4 children aged 7, 5, 3 and a very new addition only just 20 days old. The family have been in hardship for the last 12 months due to husband X injuring his spine on site as he worked FIFO. X has since recovered and is seeking employment however due to the financial hardship the family is still currently on the brink of losing their family home being in arrears along with having multiple outstanding debts owed.

This family have never experienced such hardship in the past, tears were shed and it is clear how much of an impact this gift has made on the family during this tough time. With the help of donated school bags, books and Christmas toys Anglicare WA have certainly helped this family throughout their struggles and will continue to do so as the family faces a few more hurdles. Because of this great campaign we were able to ensure the family can enjoy the holiday season this Christmas. Financial Counsellor, Armadale

The back packs had so much cool stuff in them. Most of the kids who have received one have been over the moon with excitement. One little 4 year old girl is starting kindy next year and chose a little ‘Hello Kitty’ backpack that was perfect for her size . It had a brand-new lunch box and drink bottle with unicorns on it. She literally screamed with joy. Thank you so much. Many families in this area have experienced joy and relief through the generosity of the donors of these gifts.” Manager, Gosnells

My client sends her thanks and appreciation. After separation she lost her job, struggled with her mental health and had financial difficulties with re-housing herself, her 2-year old and 15-year-old sons. She became teary and overwhelmed at the generosity offered by the 4 donors and felt relief as she wasn’t sure how she was going to afford any gifts for her children this year

One gorgeous girl chose a Smiggles backpack (we know they are pricey, and the kids know that too and most can't afford Smiggles)! She said she was 'never going to take it off'. She is vision impaired and the backpack was a bright pink. Her grandmother also was really appreciative as it would help her out not having to buy so many stationery items for the New Year. Child and Adolescent Counsellor, Gosnells

The feedback from all of the service and support workers who distributed the backpacks has been overwhelmingly positive. The quantity, quality and thoughtfulness of the donations was truly heart-warming.

Thank you to all Perth College. You provided a little brightness to some of our State’s most vulnerable families this Christmas. We are very grateful to be chosen as the recipient of your 2019 Christmas donations and truly value the partnership between Perth College and Anglicare WA. Wishing you all a wonderful 2020.