PREPARED: Wendy King, of Brighter Futures, is helping to support The Northern Star’s adopt-a-family Christmas program. DAVID NIELSEN
PREPARED: Wendy King, of Brighter Futures, is helping to support The Northern Star’s adopt-a-family Christmas program. DAVID NIELSEN

Families guiding light

SHE calls herself a family development worker, but what Wendy Kingreally does is guide families through the dark spaces in their lives.

Now you can help Ms King bring light to the lives of families doing it tough.

Ms King, who works for the Brighter Futures early intervention program, based at the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre, spends her days helping families struggling with issues such as homelessness and domestic violence.

“We support families going through crises,” she said.

That could mean pointing families at the agencies that can help them or writing letters aimed at helping them get into a home.

“It’s about working beside the families – not doing the work for them. We guide them through.”

Brighter Futures is one of seven welfare organisations taking part in this year’s Northern Star adopt-a-family Christmas program. Under the program, locals are encouraged to ‘adopt’ a local family to provide them with a hamper of non-perishable food, toys and other gifts.

Ms King said the hampers made a big difference to struggling families.

“I took part in it last year and it was just overwhelming when the families received their gifts,” she said. “It lets them know that there are people out in this community that are there to help them and help them in crisis.

“The hampers last year didn’t simply make for a better Christmas,” she said.

“Just the smiles on their faces and their thank yous was the most rewarding thing for me.”

APN News and Media chief executive Mark Jamieson said the adopt appeal had been taken on by all APN News and Media newspapers.

“Last year we adopted over 2600 families in the ultimate win-win for all involved,” he said.

Adopt-a-family will feature daily in The Northern Star until Friday, December 11.


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