Christmas Appeal 2019

Accompany. Serve. Advocate.

Dear Friends and Supporters,

December is here and with it all the joy of Christmas, holiday decorations, gifts under trees and gatherings with family and friends. But for many refugees and people seeking asylum, Christmas is a time of sorrow. Sadness is common during this “festive” period when they think of their loved ones who are far away in their home country.

Christmas dinner and presents for their children may be only a minor wish for people seeking asylum. The hope for these families is safety and certainty.

This is Mandy’s hope too*. Mandy is a single mother with three little children. She recently left her husband due to domestic and family violence. Facing destitution, Mandy and her young children came to JRS for the first time. Mandy had no income, and the financial support the family were receiving from the government had been cut.

Without her husband’s financial support, Mandy received phone calls from the real estate agency who advised they would evict her from the property if she did not pay her arrears immediately.

Mandy and her young children were at significant risk of homelessness. They were also experiencing recurring dreams as a result of the trauma and violence that they had previously experienced for several years.

Mandy was feeling helpless and unable to provide for her children. She attempted suicide in the months before she came to JRS.

Thanks to your generous donations, JRS provided Mandy with an emergency payment to cover the costs of rent, so that she and her three children could have a roof over their heads. With their immediate accommodation needs met, the family and their caseworker were able to focus on other needs that had been pushed aside. Referrals were made for urgent health support and legal advice. The family were also assisted through JRS’ food bank and community lunches, so that they could use the emergency relief for rent and other basic needs.

Although JRS is currently providing Mandy and her three children with emergency relief payments, JRS doesn’t have the capacity to support families on a long term basis.

So this Christmas, we invite you to Give a Gift of Hope to refugees and people seeking asylum; people just like Mandy and her three little children.

Today you can make a real difference to the lives of those who are in greatest need.

This is the time to invite Jesus into our hearts and share our blessings with those who have been forgotten. We invite you to reflect on what is the real meaning of Christmas and to give the gift of hope to those who don’t have joy and peace in their lives. With your help, this can be a time of healing and renewed strength for the children, women and men JRS serves. Today you can wish a “Merry Christmas” to refugees and people seeking asylum and respond to Pope Francis call to welcome, protect, promote and integrate refugees and migrants.

Your generous gift will help to provide critical assistance to those who are experiencing hardship and who are in extreme need. With your support, JRS directly serves more than 3,000 refugees and people seeking asylum per year, some of them transferred from Nauru and Manus to Australia for medical reasons. We offer specialist casework, legal clinics, access to foodbank, emergency relief, employment support, school engagement, English classes, temporary shelter and community activities. JRS has a women’s space for refugee women who have experienced or who are at-risk of sexual and gender based violence. We also advocate for systemic change. This important work depends on your generosity.

Your gift will provide life changing assistance to those who are in situations of hunger, danger and destitution. Each gift changes lives here in Australia.

This Christmas, would you like to invest in dignity, safety and hope?

Your generous support is 100% tax deductible. To donate, please call (02) 9356 3888 or email or click here.

On behalf of the people we serve, we thank you for solidarity and contribution. It means the world to us, and to the people that we are so honoured to serve.

Merry Christmas.

Thank you for your ongoing support,
Carolina Gottardo
JRS Australia

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