November marks the beginning of the Samaritans Christmas Appeal, highlighting the impact COVID-19 on local families and raising funds to provide the much-needed support, food and gifts for families this Christmas.
During Christmas our services already experience a spike in demand. Now, with the impacts of lockdowns still being felt we will have thousands of locals struggling to provide food for their table and a roof over their head.
Locals like Karlie, who turned to Samaritans after bravely escaping domestic violence and spending her pregnancy couch surfing in some dangerous situations.
One of our staff members described the day she came to us for help.
“She was frightened and very anxious. She had never needed to ask for help before.”
Samaritans provided her with hope and support. We were able to place her into temporary accommodation before finally securing her with a home for the next two years.
Our dedicated staff members didn’t stop there.
“She had nothing for herself or the baby, so we put the call out and now she has everything she needs including vouchers for food.”
Karlie is now settling into her new home preparing for the arrival of her baby.
Your support of Samaritans can give local families the help they urgently need. Safety with a place to stay, support from Samaritans staff, and gifts and food on Christmas Day.
Our network of services also means that Samaritans can help people holistically, so that families can access emergency relief, financial support, and family support, should they need some extra help during the festive season.
Serving our community during lockdown
Karlie came to us for support during the New South Wales stay-at-home orders. One of our staff members described how the lockdown changed the way we supported people during this time.
“We were filling in forms for housing online to get people into temporary accommodation or referring to other much needed services, such as medical services and Centrelink, but isolation is not good for those we work with.
“Our normally open doors were closed, but we were seeing our clients by appointment as much as possible over the phone.”
Although this was a difficult time for many people, our community still stepped up to help Karlie prepare for the arrival of her baby. We put out the call and the community answered.
“The generosity of people in this difficult time was overwhelming and she has now been able to settle into her home before the baby is born.”