Alice McMonagle's experiences running holiday camps for disadvantaged and homeless children has enabled her to make a world of difference in their lives - giving them continued support and friendship to remind them of their worth in the world.
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'Holiday' : Alice's Response TipsShort term: Go to the Yahoo7 search engine, put in 'Children at risk Australia' and read some of the results such as the work of Mission Australia or TEAR with children at risk.
Medium term: Purchase a copy of 'The Big Issue' and read any article in it on local issues to do with poverty or exclusion.
Longer term: Invite a speaker from an organisation that works with children at risk to address some event or group that you are involved with.
Medium term: Identify an organisation that works with children at risk. Invite friends and family to form with you a group, "Friends of ….!" – attend their AGM, become a financial member, purchase their newsletter etc. e.g. The Smith Family or Edmund Rice Camps.
Longer term: Write to your State Member of Parliament and to your local newspaper asking for more resources to be allocated for services for children at risk. Better still visit your local member of Parliament and share your concerns in this area (especially close to an election).Short term: Pick out a phrase that you liked from ‘Putting the Children first’ eg. "their special, sacred experience and story" and write it on a card and put it into your wallet. When you see it remind yourself that each young person at risk is a victim of circumstance.
Medium term: Begin a twinning relationship between your extended family, work place or community organisation with an organisation that works with children at risk. Take on a letter writing campaign writing letters of appreciation and admiration to young volunteers who give so generously of their time.
Longer term: Develop a relationship with an organisation that works with children at risk and once a year host a dinner party where your friends / extended family are invited and bring along a donation for that organisation. Make this regular feature of your social calendar. If possible get a guest speaker form that organisation to share some of their experiences. Volunteer with a community centre or organisation that supports families experiencing disadvantage and make a new friend!Short term: Make friends with a neighbour you don’t know very well, you might live next door to a single parent who’d love a friend nearby.
Medium term: Volunteer either as a buddy on a camp program for children at risk or if you are older as a cook, kitchen hand, bus driver etc or volunteer as an after school tutor with children from primary schools in poor neighbourhoods.
Longer term: Network at your place of work or within your extended family to see if you can work together to fund one Summer Camp for children at risk.