Local children will unwrap special Christmas presents this year, thanks to a new Together Financial Services partnership supporting children in need.
The festive spirit will come alive later this month when 150 young children living in Out of Home Care celebrate the season at a Christmas Drive supported by Together for its charity partner, Anchor.
Anchor, a not-for-profit community services organisation based in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, has a 40-year history in providing support for vulnerable children through its Out of Home Care programs and Homelessness Support Services.
While Christmas presents might seem part-and-parcel of the festive season, children living in Out of Home Care often went without and found it difficult being away from their biological families, according to Anchor Partnerships and Service Design specialist Lauren Gordon.
“Many children in our services have been through a lot in their short lifetimes,” she said.
“Many are living with trauma, chaos and the crisis that comes from emotional, physical or sexual abuse.
“Anchor and the exceptional families that are supporting these children want to make this time of year as inclusive and supportive as possible, given the circumstances that lead to their involvement in Anchor services.”
This year’s first Anchor Christmas Drive that is being supported by Together aims to boost the festivities by providing the young children in the organisation’s services with a personalised gift, rather than a general present for a particular gender or age range.
“With the support from Together, Anchor Out of Home Care staff have been given an opportunity to speak to our families to personalise their Christmas gifts and give the children something they will love!” Ms Gordon said.
“It’s much more than a material item to these kids. It’s recognition…it’s a gesture that shows them that somebody sees them.
“The selfless act of someone else – a stranger that they don’t know – showing consideration into what they love…
“You never know how an act like that can impact a person.”
Anchor welcomed the partnership with Together Financial Services and said the support would allow the not-for-profit to “think much bigger than we have before.”
“The fact that they’re going out of their way for kids they don’t know and will never meet says a lot about Together Financial Services and the people and businesses they interact with,” she said.
“We are so thankful that Together has chosen Anchor to be one of their charitable partners and we are so excited to see where this partnership will go.”
Find out more about Together Financial Service’s social impact.