2017 is drawing to a close. This is a special time of year, bringing joy and cheer to many, however it is also a time to reflect on the challenges faced by those who are less fortunate. Many families will face debt, isolation or illness during the festive period, which can make it a stressful and challenging time.
To support those in need, bestchance is running our annual Wishing Tree campaign. This event began many years ago as a result of community donations for disadvantaged families in the community. Today, a number of community groups and individuals donate non-perishable food items, gifts and money to bestchance to distribute to those in need.
Aldil’s story is an example of the type of support offered by the Wishing Tree. Aldil is 5 years old and his parents were referred to the Parent & Community Support (PACS) Program by a bestchance Kindergarten. Through his time at the kindergarten, teachers raised concerns with his parents that Aldil was non-verbal and may be on the Autism Spectrum. As his parents engaged with the PACS program, it also became apparent that Aldil’s mother was experiencing social isolation and the family were in dire need of financial support.
As the family were unable to finance a Paediatric assessment to confirm the diagnosis, bestchance provided assessment and ongoing therapeutic support though the bestchance Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Program, Solution Focused Counselling and the provision of non-perishable food parcels through the PACS Emergency Relief program. Mother and child now attend playgroups at bestchance for social connection. This year, it is our desire to support families beyond a food hamper and a toy by having a more tailored approach to meet individual family needs. Just as it was in Aldil’s case which required financial support to address his medical needs.
The Wishing Tree initiative reflects the true meaning of giving and we could not do it without the support of kind hearted individuals from the local community. The generosity and inspiration that the Wishing Tree campaign has given is shown in the very generous donation by Priscilla McKay and her family in 2016. Priscilla’s son Mason was about to celebrate his first birthday and the family decided to donate all of Mason’s first birthday gifts to the bestchance Wishing Tree campaign. Prior to Mason’s birthday, Priscilla had asked her guests to provide a variety of presents for all ages in lieu of gifts for Mason. These gifts were distributed to those families less fortunate to ensure that children in our community did not go without during the festive season.
As the festive season approaches, now more than ever we need your support to help us to impact the lives of those in need. Any amount, no matter how big or small, will make a significant difference to others. Embrace the Christmas spirit and give in some way, so that families experiencing hardship this Christmas can enjoy the festive season with their loved ones.
Here are some photos of bestchance Staff donating to the Wishing Tree Appeal!