Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opin­ion -

I EX­PRESS my sin­cere thanks and grat­i­tude to West Aus­tralians for their tremen­dous sup­port of The Smith Fam­ily’s 2015 Win­ter Ap­peal.

The char­ity launched its ap­peal on May 20 to raise $3.5 mil­lion by June 30, for the on­go­ing sup­port of thou­sands of dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren across the coun­try.

The ap­peal high­lighted the vul­ner­a­bil­ity ex­pe­ri­enced by the one in 10 Australian chil­dren liv­ing in dis­ad­van­tage, es­pe­cially when at school and strug­gling to fit in and keep up with their class­mates.

Our ap­peal brought at­ten­tion to the iso­lat­ing ef­fects of dis­ad­van­tage on chil­dren, and the fact that they of­ten start school be­hind, slip fur­ther and fur­ther back and are at risk of be­ing in poverty in the longterm.

It is heart­en­ing that this mes­sage struck a chord with so many peo­ple, who re­sponded with great gen­eros­ity to The Smith Fam­ily, en­sur­ing we ex­ceeded our ap­peal tar­get and raised more than $3.7 mil­lion for dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren.

I thank each in­di­vid­ual who made a do­na­tion, and let them know that their help will have a di­rect, last­ing im­pact on more than 9000 dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren in Aus­tralia. LORNA WOOD­LEY, The Smith Fam­ily, WA.

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