Help put a smile on Jakob’s face in time for the festive season

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Help put a smile on Jakob’s face in time for the festive season

December 7, 2020

Jakob is looking forward to 25 December. He and his family are Muslim and don’t celebrate Christmas but he knows how important the day is to the other children he is surrounded by at Emerge’s refuge.

“It is a holy day, and it is also a day to be happy and receive and give presents, and eat a lot,” Jakob said.

Secretly Jakob is hoping for lots of new books, but he is hanging out mostly to spend time with his mum, Alma, and sister Zara in a safe, happy environment.

Emerge this year is appealing for practical donations of vouchers and items that can be put into hampers for every family it supports in refuge, crisis housing and outreach.


“It has been a difficult year for everyone because of the long lockdown and ongoing concern about the virus,” Paula Westhead, EO of Emerge said.

“But this is a wonderful opportunity to give generously to all those families who have been hurt very badly this year because of family violence,” she said.

“When I see and talk with youngsters like Jakob, it is easy to see the impact violence has on little people’s lives,” Paula said.

She said that when Jakob arrived in refuge, he was jumpy and scared of shadows. He rarely spoke. Over three months, he has settled down and has enjoyed playing with the other children in the play area.

“The change is dramatic,” Paula said.

Jakob and his family hope to be in their new home on 25 December, which will be their main present. But a few books at the end of his bed will be a close second, as well as the chance to enjoy a meal together.

Donate early

Emerge is hoping that donors will donate early so that mums can shop ahead of the busy festive season or online so they are prepared well.

Here are some of the items your voucher could be for:

  • $20 towards SIM cards
  • $50 OfficeWorks for back to school supplies
  • $75 vouchers for teenagers who are often hard to buy for
  • $100 Toy and book pack
  • $200 towards school uniforms and books
  • $150 Coles, ALDI or Woolworth vouchers for food
  • $500 KMART for home starter sets
  • $3,500 donation towards our Fresh Start packages

“I know that vouchers don’t sound exciting, but they are practical and easy to give to the families. We know that many mums want to make sure that all family members are catered for and not just young children. They also want to buy culturally appropriate food, and special edible surprises,” Paula said.



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