When his employer closed the business, Sam lost his job.
It didn’t take long before their savings ran out and his family of five couldn’t afford their $500 a week rental.
They are now couch-surfing with another family of five, hoping that they are able to find stable accommodation before Natasha, Sam’s wife, gives birth.
It’s the time of year when most Canberrans are celebrating, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali or Mawlid.
But for some, it’s not such a happy time.
I heard Sam’s story from Warwick Fulton, the president of St Vincent de Paul Society in the ACT, when we held a fundraising barbecue for Vinnies at Parliament House.
They’re assembling 3000 hampers across Canberra and Goulburn, anticipating more need than last year.
From my family to yours, I hope this is a time of joy and gratitude.
As you enjoy your celebration, spare a thought – or a dollar, or a few hours of your time – for those doing it tough in our community.
We’re a lucky country, but we need to do more to share that luck with everyone.
- Andrew Leigh is the Federal Member for Fenner, and his website is www.andrewleigh.com