As the pandemic continues to widen the gap between Australian children’s learning, The Smith Family has turned to bottled drinks for a helping hand.

Children’s education charity, The Smith Family, have partnered with Asahi Lifestyle Beverages to tackle growing hardship in the wake of the global pandemic.  

A new survey commissioned by the charity shows that 48% of respondents believe the gap between Australian ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ has widened since COVID-19 began. One in four respondents said they feel under financial stress (18%) or significant financial stress (8%), while a further 39% said they can manage household bills but struggle to afford much else.

The flow-on effect on children is especially worrying for The Smith Family, whose focus is helping young Australians experiencing disadvantage to succeed at school. One in five households with dependent children said they have been unable to afford excursions or extracurricular activities for their children in the last 12 months, and one in eight stated they have been unable to pay for school essentials including uniforms, books, computers and internet access. Judy Barraclough, The Smith Family’s Acting CEO, worries about the significant long-term impact on children’s education.  

“As an education charity, we are particularly concerned about children who don’t have the resources they need to learn at home. Among the families we support, there are children who can’t do homework or take part in remote learning because they don’t have a computer or internet access – a significant problem with major consequences for a child’s educational attainment,” Ms Barraclough said. 

The Big Giveback 2021 is a national campaign supporting vulnerable young people. 10 cents from the sale of selected Asahi Lifestyle Beverages non-alcoholic drinks, at over 10,000 participating retail outlets, will be donated to The Smith Family and a number of other organisations supporting people in need.  

The campaign raised $664,442 in 2020 and helped The Smith Family provide 12 months educational support to over 700 young Australians. This year the campaign target is $1 million.  

All funds received by The Smith Family will go to its Learning for Life program, which currently supports the education of almost 58,000 students experiencing disadvantage across Australia. 

The Smith Family will present at this year’s Fundraising Forum, when you can take a deep dive into the charity’s digital fundraising highs. The organisation’s 2020 winter fundraising appeal raised $6.7 million, 150% more than the previous year, more than 50% of donors gave online and 78% of new donors acquired came via digital channels.  

Learn more about the session here 

The Fundraising Forum will come to you virtually in 2021. Join us online from 31 August – 2 September. Find out more and register.    


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