THE Illawarra's VIEW (Voice, Interests and Education of Women) Clubs have encouraged people to dig deep this year and support those in need through the annual Smith Family Winter Appeal.
This year the charity is aiming to raise $3.66 million across Australia through the appeal, which runs until June 30.
The money raised during the appeal will go towards helping disadvantaged children better their education, which is the main aim of VIEW Clubs.
"VIEW Clubs were set up as a fund-raising arm of the Smith Family to help them in their goal of giving children a better education," VIEW Illawarra zone councillor Yvonne White said.
"All the money we raise through the year goes to the Smith Family and the educational programs they run."
Mrs White said the Smith Family helps people through education because they believed it was the best way to break the cycle of disadvantage many people find themselves in.
"Rather than give out welfare the aim is to give people a better education, as that's the real catalyst to break people out of disadvantage.
"That's why we're encouraging everybody to give to the the winter appeal, the money goes to educational programs that the Smith Family runs, but it also helps with the simple things like buying school uniforms and allowing kids to go on school excursions they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford."
While supporting the Winter Appeal is one way to help those in need, any women who wish to do more to help should consider joining VIEW.
"All VIEW Clubs actually sponsor children through the Smith Family's Learning for Life program, which helps a child from primary school through to tertiary education. The child chosen has to meet some criteria and all the money is accounted for so it's a great way to know you're helping somebody do something they otherwise wouldn't be able to," Mrs White said.
"The other thing is that the VIEW Clubs are a great social and support network for women, especially retirees and empty nesters."
To donate to the winter appeal, head online to thesmithfamily.com.au/donate.