Many Western Australians have been pushed into poverty for the first time, families affected by job loss, illness or anxiety caused by the pandemic. This year will go down as a year of extraordinary hardship.
Christmas this year will be a very different experience for many, and where you and I may be fortunate enough to celebrate, thousands of Western Australians won’t as they face poverty for the first time.
David is a hardworking man, the breadwinner of his family and the rock that his wife and daughters rely on. But when COVID hit, his employer closed their doors overnight, and his job was gone. He was overwhelmed with fear.
“It was gut wrenching,” he explained. “One day I had a job. Then next day, it was gone. I lost 100% of my income.”
Like so many others, David is experiencing poverty for the first time. He was visiting a friend when he learnt about Vinnies.
“I’d never had to ask for help before.” David said.
David called Vinnies, and after being put in touch with a local Vinnies volunteer, he was able to receive a food hamper which helped the family for that first month, as well as a Woolworths voucher and fuel card.
That initial contact with a Vinnies volunteer meant that a father of three, shaking in fear and a man at breaking point fearing for his future, was able to reassured that he was going to be OK.
David losing his job wasn’t the reason that he reached breaking point. It was putting food on the table. Keeping his children warm. And the real fear that he’d lose his house if he couldn’t cover the rent.
“I’d never had to ask for help before.”
When Vinnies was able to take the hunger from his family, the cold from his children, the fear from his future, we pulled David back from the brink.
Right now, thousands of people like David aren’t so fortunate, and they are currently living below the poverty line.
They’re having their power cut off because they are using their meagre earnings to pay for food instead of bills.
They’re scared to answer the phone because it could be a debt collector. They don’t want to open the mail because any day now, an eviction notice could be waiting.
Vinnies needs your help once again, to assist individuals and families like David’s doing it tough and experiencing poverty.
You can help vulnerable Western Australians make it through Christmas and into the New Year with a brighter future.
Spread a little joy today by donating to Vinnies Christmas Appeal at vinnies.org.au.