The Nolan family – their story

Mike and Sylvia Nolan* approached Samaritans for urgent financial assistance and support just a few weeks ago. With four young children, and both Mike and Sylvia medically unable to work, times have always been tough.

But with their current accommodation in urgent need of repairs, their medical expenses mounting, and their utility bills in arrears, Mike and Sylvia felt helpless. The stress caused by their current financial situation was also having an impact on their relationship and their children. Day by day, they felt their world was caving in. They knew they needed help, and quickly.

Mike and Sylvia just want what every parent wants for their little ones at Christmas; a safe home full of love and happiness. They want to see their children laugh, with bellies full of food. They want to see their children with smiles when they unwrap a thoughtful gift. They want the hope of a better, brighter future as a strong family unit.

“I just want my kids to wake up on Christmas morning and feel the same excitement as their friends.”

Samaritans Christmas Appeal will mean Mike and Sylvia will be able to choose gifts for each of their children to unwrap on Christmas morning. It means they will have access to food to cook a hearty Christmas meal for their family. It means they will be able to look forward to the year ahead.

Their case manager Katrina’s* story

My day-to-day work as a Samaritans Family Case Manager can be both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

In the lead up to Christmas each year, I see so many local families who are struggling. The level of need never ceases to amaze me.

But the one thing that warms my heart is the life-changing impact that Samaritans can have on these vulnerable families.

I see first-hand the impact Samaritans has on families when they move from absolute crisis point to a more positive future. Samaritans can only do what it does because of generous donations through our Christmas Appeal.

The Nolans came to me in crisis, but I will be able to support them to get back on their feet.

Already, I’ve been able to provide wraparound support and connect them with Samaritans services such as Emergency Relief and Financial Counselling. Already, I’ve seen a positive change in their outlook on life.

In the next few weeks, I’ll connect Mike and Sylvia with the Christmas Gift Warehouse. I know from working with families last year, that the Warehouse will bring them immense joy.

Words just can’t express the look of sheer happiness and appreciation on the faces of parents who come to the Warehouse. It really is wonderful to see parents find a gift for their child that they know will bring joy. It often leaves them with a tear in their eye to know that people care.

Christmas is the season of giving and it is encouraging to know that there are people out there who give generously to those in need each Christmas. I hope this Christmas is one full of joy and happiness for everyone, but particularly for those who might be struggling.

*The names, details and associated images have been changed to protect the identity of this family and their case manager.

This Christmas you can show the Nolan family how inspiring their strength is by donating to Samaritans.

Your generous gift will help families like the Nolans who are facing an impoverished Christmas.  

Donate now