Victory, The Smith Family make education ultimate goal

Melbourne Victory is urging its legion of fans, and the wider community, to get behind The Smith Family's Christmas Appeal, and help disadvantaged children achieve the ultimate goal - a good education.

Melbourne Victory is urging its legion of fans, and the wider community, to get behind The Smith Family's Christmas Appeal, and help disadvantaged children achieve the ultimate goal - a good education.

The Smith Family, a national children's charity, needs to raise $4.5 million through its Christmas Appeal to continue providing scholarships and educational support programs to more than 30,000 children in disadvantaged communities across Australia.

Every cent donated will be put into local initiatives, including maths and English homework clubs and mentoring programs, to support children as they make their way through school, ensuring that they can achieve their potential, get a great education and end the cycle of disadvantage.

The Smith Family's Executive Director Paul Henderson said that the organisation-s comprehensive suite of Learning for Life programs span a disadvantaged child's early years through the vulnerable transition points in their development, such as moving from home to primary school and from school to further study or workforce entry.

"The Christmas Appeal is our biggest fundraiser each year and during these tough economic times we are especially reliant on generous members of the community digging deep to ensure disadvantaged kids are connected with opportunities to get the best out of their education and make the most of their lives," Henderson said.

Melbourne Victory chief executive Geoff Miles said the club wanted to harness its strong supporter base to help The Smith Family.

"Melbourne Victory is proud to be a long-term supporter of The Smith Family and without their support many children across Victoria would not have the opportunity to develop their potential, enjoy school excursions, or participate in extra-curricular sport. As a club, we want to do all that we can to help The Smith Family ensure that all Victorian families and children don't miss out on opportunities that we take for granted." Miles said.

Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp, the club's ambassador for The Smith Family, and teammates will also 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.