Little glimmers of joy

June 22, 2021 BY

BETHANY Community Support is calling on the region to help provide struggling families with the “little things” in life.

The new Bethany Little Things Appeal aims to give vulnerable families the resources to enjoy simple pleasures often taken for granted by others.

Bethany chief executive officer Grant Boyd encouraged people to consider the little things they enjoy most and pay it forward by giving vulnerable families similar opportunities.

“Without a second thought many of us can buy coffee from a cafe, pay for our children to go on excursions, or take our family out for dinner – but that’s not the case for many people who use our support services,” he said.

“People who come to Bethany Community Support make regular sacrifices to cover their basic expenses.

“It’s not in their budget to treat themselves or their families to something nice after a tough week.”

Hoping to provide her six children with more fun-filled days, a heavily pregnant Geelong mother talked about her life before accessing Bethany Community Support.

The family, which includes four children living with an intellectual disability, were evicted from the rental they had resided in for nine years after asking for urgent repairs.

Unable to secure a new rental property, the mother recalls being told she had “too many kids to get a rental, especially on a carer’s pension”.

Determined to keep her children at their Geelong school, the family moved to “unsafe” temporary accommodation on the Bellarine Peninsula and embarked on long commutes.

“Every day we spent one-and-a-half hours on the bus to get my older ones to school, and then I’d have to wait in Geelong for school to finish before taking them back,” she said.

“I also had a newborn and a toddler – it was too much to travel back to the Bellarine.”

After contacting Bethany Community Support the family was able to secure emergency accommodation closer to the school before later finding permanent housing.

“When my Bethany case worker found me a house, I thought ‘thank God’,” she said.

“Two days after we moved to the new house we went into lockdown, and I was so glad we weren’t in that unsafe unit anymore.”

Now hoping to give her kids a taste of the little joys in life, the mother hopes to give her science-loving children a yearly pass to the museum.

“My kids love science and museums, but it’s not something I have money for after paying rent, bills and necessary things for them,” she said.

“This would mean the world to them.”

Community members can donate to the Little Things Appeal until June 30 by heading to the Bethany website.

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