A STAGGERING 605,700 Australian children are living in jobless families and are unable to access the same educational, health or life opportunities that many Australians enjoy and often take for granted.
Today The Smith Family supports over 32,000 young Australians in need to receive sponsorships which help struggling families to cover the cost of their children's education essentials.
Each sponsored child also gets access to a Learning for Life Worker who links them to community-based learning opportunities to support their education.
Psychologist Associate Professor Pauleen Bennett from the School of Psychological Science at La Trobe University said it was a fantastic initiative for both the children receiving sponsorships and those getting behind the campaign.
"The psychological benefits of 'giving' are well-known hence the old adage, 'it's better to give than to receive'," she said.
Sponsors can choose to communicate with their sponsored child to support them in overcoming barriers they face every day, through no fault of their own.
For 19-year-old Indigenous psychology student and sponsorship recipient Jamie, funds from The Smith Family's sponsorship program helped break down the financial barriers she experienced growing up, giving her the chance to pursue her academic goals.
"I'm studying psychology, majoring in eating pathology. The Smith Family has helped me enormously. I wouldn't be able to afford to buy my own text books each semester without the sponsorship money," said Jamie.
"The things that supporters do are amazing. I don't think they could possibly understand the difference they are making."
This month, Australians are invited to be part of The Smith Family sponsorship program as part of the Smile for Change campaign - an initiative of Colgate and The Smith Family which aims to raise money to help kids in need create better futures for themselves.
Australians are urged to go to www.facebook.com/colgateaustralia, 'like' the Facebook page and explain in 50 to 150 words why they want to become the sponsor of a disadvantaged child.
The 20 most creative and original responses will be given the chance to sponsor a student supported by The Smith Family Learning for Life program for 12 months, fully funded by Colgate.
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