Making a Difference This Christmas...

As a parent nothing warms your heart more than seeing your child’s face light up when they wake to find their stocking overflowing with goodies and the presents left carefully under the tree from Santa. The joy and innocence in believing, it’s moments like this that make being a parent so rewarding.

But imagine if you will a Christmas morning without presents or stockings filled with chocolates and toys. The sounds of joy and laughter are replaced by disappointment and tears. For many families right here in Victoria, Christmas marks a day that parents struggle most with. These parents like you and I want nothing more than to be able to provide these things so easily taken for granted, but they just don’t have the means, leaving them defeated and distressed.

I can only imagine how this feels. I know personally I never want to let my little girl down. I’ve been lucky to have the support of an amazing family. And although we’ve had some hard times where money was tight, we never had to go without a Christmas.

The thought of this is heartbreaking and although we’ll never be able to make it right for every family living in poverty in Victoria, myself, my fellow Advisors and our incredible team at LifePlan endeavored to make it better for five of these families.

Now we didn’t quite meet our goal, but as one of the families had 6 children and another had 4, I think all in all, it was a huge success. With the help of  our Advisors and Foresters Financial we raised $1,550 giving us enough to put together and deliver Christmas Hampers complete with toys, clothing and food to four very deserving families referred to us by George Jay School. Truly a team effort, Ariane collected the funds, Yuee shopped for all the kids and bought all the goods contained in each hamper. Caitlin wrapped it all and Yuee, Caitlin, Thea, Brandi and Ariane delivered them to each family.

One family was a single father and his young daughter. She has a disability and her mother just died in the spring.  Dad and daughter had moved to Victoria from up island to attempt to start again and move on from this painful event. He was working before his wife's death but hasn't been able to since then. When Yuee and Caitlin came back from delivering the hamper they were beaming with joy from the heartfelt appreciation this father expressed to them.

It’s funny, a good friend of mine once said, “It’s almost selfish how good giving can feel”. He’s right! The joy this has provided us all has been better than any gadget or thing we could have received. It’s brought us all together and it’s shown us that with a little effort we really can make a difference.

I’ve personally been inspired by this and am looking forward to 2017 where together we’ll be heading up many more projects and charitable fundraising events at LifePlan with a focus on kids and families. So keep an eye out for more info early in the new year. In the meantime, click here for a list of great ways to get involved. You never know, the joy you feel might just be the best gift you receive this year… I know it has been for me.