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Nov 05, 2008   |  2:10PM AET

Victory kicks off The Smith Family’s 2008 Christmas Appeal

Victory kicks off The Smith Family’s 2008 Christmas Appeal

The Smith Family launched its 2008 Christmas Appeal last week, with support from Melbourne Victory players and coaching staff, who joined children from The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program.

The Smith Family launched its 2008 Christmas Appeal last week, with support from Melbourne Victory players and coaching staff, who joined children from The Smith Family-s Learning for Life program.

The Smith Family is aiming to raise $4.5 million through its Christmas Appeal to continue securing better futures for disadvantaged Australian kids.

Throughout the year, the money will be spent on providing invaluable assistance to disadvantaged children through a suite of critical literacy, numeracy and personal development programs across 95 disadvantaged communities in Australia, including 13 in Victoria.

The Smith Family-s Chief Executive Officer Elaine Henry said Christmas could be a time of great stress to children in disadvantaged families.

“Kids are worrying about mum being stressed, or about money and how there-s never enough. Worrying about money is the last thing they should be doing. And it-s all because their family is disadvantaged,” Henry said.

As the global financial crisis deepens, The Smith Family is calling on all Australians to give what they can.

“Many Australian families will struggle with the burden of financial disadvantage at Christmas, and many for the first time. All donations, no matter how big or small, will make a real difference,” Henry added.

Victory CEO Geoff Miles said empowering children through education was a cause the whole club embraced.

“We-re a passionate club with a strong fan base and we-re committed to supporting disadvantaged Australian children to create a better future through education.” Miles said.

“Melbourne Victory encourages all members and supporters to be generous in supporting The Smith Family Christmas Appeal, which will bring a smile to many children and their families at Christmas.”

Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp, the club-s ambassador for The Smith Family and teammates will be among the 120 volunteers packing Christmas toys and books for delivery to thousands of Victorian children, as part of The Smith Family-s Toy and Book Appeal.

To make a donation to The Smith Family-s Christmas Appeal, or purchase gifts including toy and book packs, sports kits and student sponsorship, call 1800 024 069 or visit www.thesmithfamily.com.au.