August… traditionally a time of bitter, cold and depressing winds. However, we kick off this month with a positive story of how this resilient 49-year-old single mother’s experience is a testament to the positive impact the Family of League has in our community. She has endured unimaginable challenges, including homelessness and extreme domestic violence, all while caring for her children. These hardships could have easily overwhelmed her, but with the support of the Family of League, she found a lifeline – socially, emotionally, and financially.
In recent months, her life has taken a remarkable turn. She made the courageous decision to enrol in a Certificate IV in Community Services through TAFE, a step towards securing stability and financial independence for her family’s future. Her youngest son is on the cusp of high school and faces a significant hurdle. Without access to a home computer, he is struggling to complete his schoolwork, a vital component of his education.
Recognising the importance of education, the Family of League stepped in to provide invaluable support. They offered assistance in the form of food vouchers to ease the family’s immediate needs. Additionally, they provided a new iPad. This device not only allows the mother to complete her coursework but also empowers her son to excel in his studies as he transitions into high school.
The story of this family is a powerful reminder of how community support can lift individuals and families out of the darkest of circumstances. Through the kindness of the Family of League, they are now on a path towards a brighter, more promising future, filled with hope, stability, and opportunity.
On-field assistance from Family of League
Imagine playing the game you love with your young family on the sideline cheering you on, this is how the game started for this 25-year-old father. Unfortunately, his day took a turn for the worse when his elbow was dislocated during the game.
Fortunately, luck was on his side as one of our dedicated volunteer Wellbeing Officers was present at the field. With a swift response, they organized an Immediate Action Grant to help alleviate the financial burden that came with his inability to work during his recovery. The Family of League stepped in with food and fuel vouchers, offering essential support to assist with his general living expenses.
This heart-warming story is not an isolated incident. In fact, this month alone, the Family of League has been a beacon of hope for at least five grassroots players facing similar challenges. These instances remind us of the power of community and the incredible impact that organisations like the Family of League can have on the lives of those who are passionate about their sport and dedicated to their families.
When inside the home is more dangerous than outside
Imagine having to pack up your entire life and move to a new, unfamiliar place. No savings, minimal property and lots of unknowns. This move isn’t the first time you’ve needed to ‘start over.’ In fact, it’s not even the second, but instead the third time you’ve had to make this life impacting change. Moving with you are your three young children… so yet again they are ‘uprooted’ from all that is familiar to them, their school, their friends and their local footy club. Now imagine that you are making this move on your own as the domestic and family violence that you and your children are experiencing means that you are no longer safe to live under the same roof.
This is the very challenging reality currently facing a family that our Melbourne Committee has been working closely with for almost a year now. The Foundation has provided emotional, physical, and financial support through two of their moves by not only assisting them to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table while everything around them was in turmoil but to also be there for coffee catch ups and supportive phone check ins as needed.
To allow this family to begin to create some new happy memories, they recently had the opportunity to attend the Melbourne Storm Captains run prior to their game against the Gold Coast Titans… entering the hallowed ground of AAMI Park to welcome the teams to the field. The smiles on their faces said it all – today is a good day and we are grateful for the chance to be reminded that thanks to the Rugby League Community we all love and cherish being a part of – we are not alone.
A cancer diagnosis is undoubtedly one of the most life-altering and distressing events a family can experience. It creates a ripple effect of emotional and practical challenges that impact not only the patient but their entire support network.
Imagine the shock and heartache of receiving the news that your vibrant 17-year-old daughter, who loves football and has her whole life ahead of her, has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In an instant, her world is turned upside down. She faces the harsh reality of being seriously ill, enduring the physical toll of chemotherapy and coping with the devastating loss of her hair. The activities she once enjoyed, like playing football and spending time with friends, become distant dreams as she grapples with the unpleasant side effects of treatment.
For parents, this journey is equally distressing. Witnessing their child’s illness takes an emotional toll that is impossible to fully describe. The constant hospital visits, the financial burden of medical expenses, and the challenges of balancing work and caregiving all contribute to an overwhelming sense of helplessness and stress.
In the midst of this turmoil, the Family of League offers a beacon of hope and support. Their willingness to step in during a family’s darkest hours, both emotionally and financially, provides a lifeline when it is needed most. By offering practical assistance, such as fuel vouchers, they alleviate some of the logistical challenges that families face during this difficult time.
In essence, the support provided by the Family of League extends far beyond the tangible. It offers solace, strength, and a sense of belonging to families grappling with the ‘new normal’ brought about by a cancer diagnosis. It shows that even in the darkest of times, acts of kindness and compassion can light the way forward.