SOMETIMES THEY SEE TOO MUCH
So, what does Be An Elf Ltd do?
Briefly, we are focused on creating community-based and community-led solutions, which improves the quality of life and relieves the suffering of those less fortunate children in the community. We do that by bringing people together and making remarkable things happen. We help change lives by meeting basic needs – food, housing, education, clothing, counselling and by giving ‘at risk’ young people and their families legitimacy and emotional support.
We have several services, of which many are unique.
1. Elf Annual Appeals– We have Two major Appeals. ‘The Be An Elf Christmas Appeal ‘and ‘The Sleepy Elves Manchester Appeal’:
‘The Be An Elf Christmas Appeal’ aims to bring some hope into the lives of young people in South East Queensland. We begin by collecting letters from children, who are socially and financially deprived. On these “letters to Santa” the children write down their Christmas wish list, and our amazing donors try their hardest to fill these requests by purchasing what they have asked for. All the gifts are then delivered to the homes of the children, by Christmas Eve every year. Last year, we collected thousands of presents, which we gave to children, who would have had no Christmas presents, at all. Our volunteers visited the children in homes, often without furniture or acceptable amenities and sometimes even no electricity. Despite this, it was wonderful to see the pleasure that children derived from receiving the gifts and we feel we are making a significant difference in local communities.
‘The Sleepy Elves’ Manchester Appeal’ occurs in July and supplies children with bedding including pillows, pillowcases, blankets, sheets, and mattresses. We also supply towels and washers. The Beenleigh Sleep Clinic research suggests that 25% of poorer children in Logan region of Queensland have inadequate bedding, which has profound implications on their health and educational attainment.
2. Elf Helpers Program– Throughout the year impoverished children need help and support. We store items that many children require and otherwise would go without. We are given many of these items by generous private and corporate donors, but we also purchase items for the children. The items include, but are not limited to food, clothing, bedding, toys, hygienic products, and educational resources.
3. Collaborating Elves– We work with other charities to ensure the best outcomes for the children, we assist. It takes a village to raise a child and we believe that by co-operating with other charities and not for profits, in local communities, that we can be most successful in attaining beneficial results for the children.
4. ‘The Friendly Elf’ linkups Programs are family support groups, where struggling families can meet with other families, which are experiencing or have experienced similar problems. Are you familiar with AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)? Well, think of a group with a coach, (qualified professional) that is self-supporting and is similar in approach, but the participants may also have other problems, in addition to alcohol, including; gambling, drugs and domestic violence/life issues. Those selected to participate in the linkup programs meet for BBQ’s and family day outs. We want them to become fully functioning families, to support their children and to be able to provide a stable home environment. If the families are homeless, we will assist them in finding accommodation. We will provide them with budgeting solutions, counselling and even offer advice on cooking and nutritional needs. Children require a roof over their heads and three-square meals a day, to fully realise their potential. Objectively, we want children’s lives to be happy, stable, and fulfilled.
5. In local schools we offer informal ‘Creative Elves’ workshops. One of our most popular workshops is ‘Elf Makers’, where children learn how to manufacture a skateboard, which is equivalent in quality to those seen in retail shops. Our workshops provide the children with a variety of vocational skills and are also designed to instill confidence and self-belief. We want to turn sad disadvantaged children into happy, fulfilled children, with a purpose.
6. Be An Elf Ltd runs different programs designed to involve disadvantaged children and encourage them to become more involved in their local schools and communities. In indigenous communities, many children suffer from lack of opportunity. Through the Sk8 Elves program, we supply indigenous children with a skateboard and teach them how to ride and maintain it. Selected children will be chosen for further training at a week-long annual ‘Elf Skate fest’ in Brisbane. They will be able to take their newly learned advanced skills back to their communities and mentor other children. The Sk8 Elves program is designed to give indigenous children insight into their unique capabilities and to expand their horizons. It can also be run through the schools and participation can be tied to school attendance.
7. Elf Employees– Be An Elf Ltd aims to create jobs for disadvantaged children which will reintegrate them back into society and prevent social isolation, criminality, drug dependence and alienation. Through our social enterprise program Be An Elf Ltd is creating a skateboard manufacturing facility, which uses environmentally sustainable materials and will provide jobs for ‘at risk’ teens, with an emphasis on disadvantaged and Aboriginal youth employment. We also have school holiday paid mentorships, where children aged 14+ can gain work experience, which may lead to a part time job. Some of these children will be the first in five generations to be employed.
Be An Elf Ltd is a direct action, grass roots organisation, that believes in attacking a problem at the source. Many of the young people, we deal with have self-esteem and mental health issues. They are either eating irregularly or often for extended periods, not at all. In Winter they lack warm clothing and the clothes they do have are inadequate. Can you imagine being the one in the child and teenage social group, without any decent clothes? Forget decent clothes, what do you think it would be like to have worn, dirty clothes and shoes and to not be able to regularly shower? The children Be An Elf Ltd sees are socially isolated and lack family support and as a result, may tend to act out. They leave school early, get pregnant, fall in with the wrong crowd. We give them food, clothing, social activities, and love.
Be An Elf Ltd is helping to defeat hunger, rejection, and despair with local children? We are making a difference in Queensland communities now, but we need your help to do more and to expand our volunteer network and raise even more money for disadvantaged children and teens.