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The Smith Family

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#1 EssentialBludger

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:29 PM

I've been noticing the ad on the side for awhile ----->

Does anyone sponder a child through the Smith Family? Are you happy with the program? Do you get letters/updates on your child?

Any addition info would be great. original.gif

#2 ellebelle

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:48 PM

I sponsor two children. They write an update once a year or so of what they are enjoying at school, what they want to get better at etc., sometimes you get a bit of artwork. It wouldn't really worry me whether I got anything though. It's a cost they incur which could otherwise be spent on children.

#3 FeralFemboside

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:50 PM

QUOTE (EssentialBludger @ 06/02/2013, 02:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been noticing the ad on the side for awhile ----->

Does anyone sponder a child through the Smith Family? Are you happy with the program? Do you get letters/updates on your child?

Any addition info would be great. original.gif

Yes we support a primary school girl and got assigned to her just as she was starting school. In addition to the sponsorship we send her a Wish gift card for Christmas. We usually get one or two letters a year and it's been nice seeing her writing and such improve. She tries to be generous with her Christmas bonus to her brothers and sisters. cool.gif

I know they do only operate in some regions, but they're a charity, they can't be everywhere IMO. It's important to both of us that they're a secular organisation. And it's perfect for my partner since she was in exactly that sort of situation going to school in rural America: glasses stuck back together with a soldering iron, no money to go on excursions, always made fun of because she didn't have the correct books.

#4 Madnesscraves

Posted 06 February 2013 - 01:58 PM

My ad keeps telling me to book a holiday to New Zealand. Haven't seen any smith family ads here. Maybe I will now Ive mentioned it here!

#5 monkey2609

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:11 PM


We saw the ad on tv and sponsor a child through the Smith Family as well. Over the course of the past year we have exchanged a couple of cards and updates on how things are going and its great to see that the little extra we take out of our salary can make a difference. From school uniforms to school excursions and sporting club joining fees.

When it was her birthday, we wanted to sned her a little something, but obviously as locations are kept anonymous, they recommended a gift card of some description so that the child can pick something they really want. It was really easy, all I did was call up the SmithFamily and gave them our sponsor child's ID so that I could work out what stores were local to her.

We just sent the bday card and gift card back though the Smith Family and they send it on to your sponsor child.

You don't expect anything in return, but it is definitely lovely when you get little drawings and they let you know what they ended up buying. Things they wouldn't normally ever have the chance to get. It also is awesome when they let you know about the school excursions they can participate in etc

We're happy with our decision.

#6 MrsLexiK

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:15 PM

What the crust add? original.gif

At present we don't support a smith family child however I think it was a present under the tree thread at around christmas time that brought it to my attention.  Depending on finances we will be looking at doing it in the near future, as opposed to supporting a third world child.  I really liked the idea of it, however whilst I do have a budget in mind for when I go on mat leave there is no 100% that this will go to plan and I would hate to get 6 months into it and find that we can not afford it.  I would prefer to have the money to do it sitting there.

#7 Feral timtam

Posted 06 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

I was a Smith Family sponsored child. They made such a huge difference to our situation that you would not believe the before scholarship photos were of the same child.
To the families that are lucky enough to get one of the scholarships, your $42 a month donation changes their entire world.Without that scholarship I would be a life time welfare recipient, we lived too far out for me to even dare dream about getting a learners permit or a job. It enabled us to move from an area rife with multi generational welfare recipients, get jobs and enabled me to go to university.

I do the one off donations to the Smith Family whenever I can afford it. Our financial situation often doesn't allow for sponsoring a child but the one off donations can be managed most months. I am eternally grateful that they are one of the few charities that still allow the one off donations because it means I can contribute towards helping other children out of the situation I was in.

Although writing those letters to my sponsor is still the scariest thing I have ever done, I was terrified my letter would not be good enough and that they would stop sponsoring me.

#8 Lyn29

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:09 PM


Edited by bye, 29 March 2013 - 02:43 PM.

#9 CalEliKat

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:27 PM

Yes, we sponsor a primary school child.  Our children enjoy writing him letters and we receive letters, artwork and updates on him regularly.  We sent him a Kmart gift card for Christmas as we wanted him to be able to choose a gift for himself rather than sending him something we chose for him.

#10 Mrs Lannister

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:33 PM

How long do you have to sign up for?  I would be happy to do it for a year but what would happen then? Would the child be 'kicked out' or someone would take over? I don't know that I could sign on for 5+ years

#11 jayskette

Posted 06 February 2013 - 06:53 PM

I mentor high school kids twice now and it's very rewarding.

#12 FeralFemboside

Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (Bomber girl @ 06/02/2013, 07:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How long do you have to sign up for?  I would be happy to do it for a year but what would happen then? Would the child be 'kicked out' or someone would take over? I don't know that I could sign on for 5+ years

I think it would be pretty upsetting to the child to lose their sponsor. We consider that we're "in" until our girl finishes her schooling. I think if that kind of commitment is too long, maybe just make one-off donations as you're able to.

tamjk, your post was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. wub.gif I think our kid is pretty happy-go-lucky, so I hope she doesn't ever worry that she's not good enough.

#13 Chelli

Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

I work alongside The Smith Family in one if my roles. The difference they can make to families is huge, but I do wish they would give the money directly to schools. I know of one child who could desperately use their help, but as the parents are both alcoholics, they won't commit to the terms and conditions set out by TSF. Because of that, the child misses out sad.gif

tamjk, thank you for offering your insight, that was great to read.

#14 emnut

Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

QUOTE (myfamilyrocks @ 06/02/2013, 02:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't like that they only support certain areas so prefer to give things directly to the school to help the children. People in this town don't have a K Mart, Big W, Officeworks or even a car to get to them. Many are struggling beyond belief. Op Shops have limited school uniforms because people prefer to sell independently for not much less than the new price. Schools don't have second hand uniform shops other than the Catholic school and people here are not able to sign up for assistance through The Smith Family. Very off-putting. When we leave, all uniforms will go to the school. She has 5 tops, 1 house colour top, 2 netball skirts, 2 pleated skirts, 1 school jacket, 2 hats and 4 pairs of shorts from K Mart during our last trip down. It won't make a huge difference, but it's something. I used to donate, but excluding people based on location is wrong IMO.

The reason for this though is because each child gets a support worker and there are only sufficient funds available to place support workers in some areas.  As more people sponsor children, there will be more funds to employ additional support workers and therefore have the program available in more areas.  It is not a case of excluding on the basis of location but availability of resources at this time & it is always changing.

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