Sue’s grown children feel forever grateful to their sponsors

Most 15 year olds are excitedly planning their high school formals. At that age, Sue was mourning the loss of her single mum to cancer. With no extended family, she found herself all alone in the world. In time, Sue applied for a nursing traineeship, got married and had children of her own – a big loving family with seven children. Then Sue became a single mum and poverty threatened to limit the futures of her school-aged children.

“I was struggling to pay for my children’s school costs as three were still in high school. I was unable to work as a nurse with the shift work because I needed to be there for my children. I was barely surviving on a single parent pension,” said Sue.

My children often went without. School excursions were out of reach, and we struggled to afford school shoes and uniforms.

“The deputy principal recommended The Smith Family. That was 17 years ago, when they came in and changed our lives.

“It was such a huge relief to have my children’s book fees and added expenses of uniforms and shoes paid for. It would’ve taken me a long time to pay off, which affects your whole family when you are living week to week on just enough to survive.

“No child wants to be looked down on as ‘less than’. As a mother you feel deeply for them and somewhat inadequate yourself when you can’t provide for your children, even though you are doing your best.

“While this was many years ago, the impression The Smith Family sponsors made on our family is still fresh and has lasting consequences on my children's lives.”

Thanks to the support of their sponsors when they needed it most, Sue’s children have gone on to achieve great things. Adam has his own business and Daniel has just returned to university to complete an education degree. At 30 years old, Josh has three children of his own. Inspired by his own experiences, he is helping other young people in need as a youth worker at a school.

“It is hard to truly capture the difference that The Smith Family’s support made to me and my family,” said Josh.

I feel so extremely grateful to The Smith Family. They allowed my children to continue their education with some degree of pride. The best thing was knowing someone else cared about us.

The support is so much more than money. To have someone, somewhere who cares about you, your family and your future can save your life in many ways!

“It gave me the opportunity to finish school. This led to me now having the opportunity in my role as a youth worker to support and care for kids who are also struggling through their teenage years, as I did.

“I am incredibly thankful to The Smith Family and my personal sponsor that I am now living the future that they believed I could, and that they invested in all those years ago.”

Seeing her children living happy and independent lives is everything Sue had wished for as a mum. She will never forget the generous sponsors who transformed their lives.

“If you can make a difference in one child’s life, consider influencing that change through education. It comes back to the old adage, ‘Give a man a fish and he’ll have food for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ That’s what The Smith Family does,” said Sue.

To meet more of our sponsored students, click here.