“We give primary school-aged children $576 a year through The Smith Family education sponsorship program,” the Floreat resident said.
“That money helps these families afford things that most of us take for granted – a schoolbag, books, having the right shoes.
“These parents have a lot of pride and often the children are falling under the radar. One little boy wrote us a letter that said: ‘As my sponsor, you rock’. It’s clear that education truly breaks the cycle of poverty.”
Ms Breen said she had been a member of VIEW (that stands for the Voice, Interests and Education of Women) for the past 12 years.
“I refer to it as our men’s shed,” she said.
“We have a lot of fun and friendships, but with purpose.
“There are young part-time workers and we have women well into their 80s. I have met women all over WA that I never would have had the great experience to meet otherwise.”
The Smith Family WA general manager Lorna Woodley said they needed to attract 2500 new child sponsors to their Learning for Life scholarship program by the end of next month. “The reality is there are 638,000 children living in financial disadvantage across Australia who would have much better life outcomes if they could be supported throughout their education,” Ms Woodley said.