EVERY CHILD’S LIFE IS PRECIOUS
‘Be an Elf’ has been operating for 10 years and was started by a group of concerned members of M.A.D (Mothers Against Drugs), who wanted to help hungry local children. Every time they went shopping they would put a few extra items in the trolley to be later distributed to children in need. From these humble beginnings, it grew to become the annual “Be An Elf Xmas Appeal’.
The ‘Be an Elf’ Appeal was very successful in 2016. We received national coverage in News Corp publications and The Daily Mail, as well as Quest newspapers. We get children and teens to write a wish list letter to Santa, which is then filled by generous donors. We are proud to say that we were able to make 1200 children very happy last year. Some of the letters received were heart breaking. They asked for towels, sheets, school shoes and lunchboxes for Christmas. We delivered to houses with no furniture and often found that the young people are living in a very insecure situation. They may be couch surfing, living in cars or in crowded housing commission homes of 2-3 families, if in fact they are not homeless.
The ‘Be An Elf’ Xmas Appeal is our most important community outreach campaign, but we have been around since 1989 helping disadvantaged children, teens and their families in Logan/Beenleigh and throughout South East Qld and we have evolved in our services role, over that period. In that time, we have helped literally 100’s of local families to overcome problems relating to poverty, domestic violence, substance abuse, gambling, homelessness and criminality issues.
We have taken children and teens, who had no hope, no educational opportunities and even no food and shelter off the street and seen them go on to lead valuable and contributing lives. We will often be the last recourse when a child has nowhere else to turn.
Some of the kids we see just need a push, a kind word, someone to talk to, some food and descent clothing. Our volunteers tell us they have heard children we help say years later, “You know, that was the one thing that turned it around for me.” A simple act of generosity can have profound life changing results.
In our current work, we focus on 0-18 year olds’, who are most in need of:
• Emotional and psychological support
• Physical safety and housing
• Items that meet their basic living and schooling needs
These young people include those who are:
• facing or at risk of sexual exploitation or experiencing domestic abuse
• at risk of running away from home or care
• seeking accommodation. They may be homeless, living in a car, couch surfing or sleeping rough.
• living with a disability or caring for someone in their family with a disability, illness or substance abuse
• living in care
• offending or in the youth justice system
• having mental and emotional health concerns
We also assist the families of disadvantaged children.