Over 300 local children in need this Christmas, as EV Foundation launches appeal
For the ninth year in a row, the EV Foundation will be aiding families in need during the Christmas holidays.
Last year the foundation helped over 120 families, including over 300 children, who needed help making ends meet.
But the issue continues to grow, and this year as inflation rises and essentials become more expensive, the charity is expecting more people will be in need of aid this winter.
“We suspect that this year the numbers are going to rise because everyday I get new people,” said EV Foundation Founder, Nicole Jones.
“There are people that weren’t helped last year so definitely the numbers are going up.”
The charity hope to get the local community involved as much as possible, to donate to the cause.
“We plead with the public, with the community, with schools, companies and we ask for their financial help,” she said.
“What we do is we ask for food vouchers or gift vouchers.”
“The reason being that years ago we used to give out non-perishable food but after Covid things had to change and I asked families individually what they preferred.”
“Did they prefer the non-perishable items where they would receive eight full recyclable Morrisons bags full of food and the gift vouchers or would they prefer just vouchers and they all agreed that they preferred vouchers.”
“And, for me that is very important because that is a very dignified way of being compassionate and giving out.”
“We are giving them the choice to buy what they like and their children like. We are giving them the choice of going down to the shop and choose what they would buy for their children.”
“Because we have no right to decide what that child might like.”
“We can’t assume just because she is a girl that she would like a doll and we can’t assume just because he is a boy he would like a football.”
“So we have a very dignified way of being compassionate and that is by giving them the choice of them going to the shops and feeling good about choosing what their children will eat at Christmas and what they will get.”
The public can help by donating food vouchers or gift vouchers to the EV Foundation and Ms Jones encourages the public to reach out to her prior to purchasing vouchers, so that she can advise on where there is a need.
As the temperature drops the need for warmer clothes increases and as children tend to grow out of clothes quickly and they often will not fit what they wore last year.
Ms Jones also hears from parents as early as September telling her they do not have winter clothes. This is when the EV Foundation steps in and this is in addition to the help they give with uniforms at the beginning of the school term.
“They are covered for school and then they are covered for winter and that means everything,” Ms Jones said.
“Clothes, jacket, boots, shoes, anything. Even quilts because they won’t have them, even heaters because some of the houses are horrendously cold.”
Ms Jones added that mental health is aligned with poverty, as those in poverty are living in stress.
“It comes naturally because when you get home and you do not have food to feed your kids you don’t have uniforms to buy them, a Christmas present, a birthday cake you can’t pay your utilities, that already causes stress and the more months that pass by the worse problem gets the bigger the problem gets and the more you owe the more the mental problem gets,” she explained.
“What started off as stress ends up being a deep depression and once they are that down it is very hard to get them up, because how do you get them up if everything around them remains the same?”
“So what do you do? Just give them some tablets? But still, they don’t have food, still they can’t afford a birthday present, still they can’t afford to pay their utilities bills.”
“As much as there is little or some support out there that still doesn’t pay them their bills.”
Ms Jones added the stress for parents not being able to feed their children and eat themselves is incredibly stressful, and can lead to parents becoming mentally unstable.
“You used to be a good parent but all this distress converts you into making wrong decisions for your children,” she said.
“Not wanting to wake up, leave them in bed, and not take them to school, maybe not clean as you should, almost neglecting them and that is what depression does, that is what mental instability does, you become someone you are not and this is what we have to save them from.”
“We have to save children from going into the care system and you can only do that by supporting the parents from day one not day 1,000 because by the time a 1,000 days have gone by, it’s too damn late.”
“You have to protect them from day one.”
Ms Jones described how peer pressure also plays into the stress, as children do not understand why their parents cannot afford the same lifestyles they see their friends have.
Also children follow their parents actions, and it they see their parents depressed it can affect them too.
To donate to the EV Foundation go to https://www.facebook.com/theevfoundation/
Alternatively email email@example.com to ask for other methods of donating.