Ethan sleeping in his bed

 

Ethan has one wish this Christmas

All Ethan wants for Christmas is to not go to bed hungry, lying awake in fear. A home without violence – where he’s hugged, not hurt.

There’s been a dramatic increase in family violence during lockdown in Victoria.  As a result, many children urgently need a safe home this Christmas. Berry Street desperately needs your help to find them safe homes and give hope this Christmas.


Photo of Ethan standing alone in a house with a blank expression

This is Ethan*, he is seven years old and is currently in temporary care, after his family fell apart during lockdown. This Christmas, all he wants is a safe home without violence.

Ethan’s family was already at breaking point and this year it got much worse. Teachers raised concerns about Ethan coming to school hungry and in dirty clothes.

Once Victoria went back into lockdown, with school closed, Ethan couldn’t get a meal each day or even leave the house to ask the neighbours for food. Out of school, teachers couldn’t raise the alarm that they were concerned for his welfare.

Trish, Ethan’s Berry Street case worker, was surprised when she first met Ethan.

“He was the saddest little boy that I have met - Normally, even when children are experiencing severe trauma, you can at least talk to them and they will respond. But with Ethan, there was nothing. He was always anxious, on edge, his eyes scanning the room for threats. The only time that he seemed calm was when he had a pencil or crayon in his hand.”

Drawing was Ethan’s way of escaping the harsh world where he grew up and imagining where he wished to be. This is his letter to Santa, you can see what Ethan has wished for.

Dear Santa, This year I tried hard to be good for Christmas so I can have food, no shouting, no bad dreams, a bed, a teddy, new shoes, hugs, and stories. Thank you, Ethan

All Ethan wants is a home where he doesn’t go to bed hungry and lie awake in fear, or wear dirty clothes and shoes that hurt his feet. Where he doesn’t need to worry about surviving – but he can truly thrive.

Your gift can help grant Ethan’s Christmas wish and give him a safe and happy home.

could help give hope this Christmas.
could provide Berry Street foster carers with 24/7 support.
could help recruit and train more foster carers, needed now, more than ever.
or your choice of a special gift.

*Name has been changed in the interest of privacy. The models and volunteers pictured are not connected to the case study.