How Vikki and Chris’ commitment to each other led to a legacy of helping children
Vikki and Chris, from Western Australia, were planning their wedding when a pamphlet from ChildFund Australia arrived in the mail, asking for support for children living in poverty.
Vikki and Chris (pictured above and below) responded, and that year they began a lifelong commitment to not only each other but to helping children. “We thought that it would be a good way to start our marriage doing something good for someone else,” Vikki says.
Seventeen years later, Vikki and Chris, who are still happily married, have turned their unwavering support for children into a legacy by writing a gift in their Will to ChildFund.
“We support a number of charities, but ChildFund is by far the one that gets most of our support because we feel that there are so many children that don’t have opportunities, and we want to make sure we can help change that,” Vikki says.
“Chris and I don’t have children, and our families all have enough money to support themselves, so we wanted to make sure that any money that we have when we pass away goes towards doing good. We feel that if it goes to ChildFund, it can help children to get an education, and help families with what they need to support their children in the long term.”
Vikki works with a bus company, and Chris is a fitter machinist. Writing a gift in your Will to a charity is not only a worthwhile act that wealthy people can do, says Vikki.
“I would say that before leaving something to people who already have many possessions, think about people who are less fortunate,” she says.
When Chris lost his job several years ago, things became tough for the couple, but they felt strongly about continuing their support for children. It was about setting priorities, says Vikki.
“We just feel that many children don’t have the luxuries that we have; they are struggling just to get basic things like clean water.”
A fortunate childhood
Both Vikki and Chris were born in Kalgoorlie and enjoyed the freedom of playing among nature in the countryside, but they know for many children in developing communities in similar rural areas, this is not the case.
“Chris and I both had fun childhoods,” Vikki says. “If a child needs to work when they’re six or seven years old and they’re not getting a childhood, and we feel we can help them, then we will.”
Vikki’s mother passed away when she was nine years old, but she remembers her father was still able to take her and her siblings away on holidays. “We never missed out on anything,” she says. “We were very fortunate in that way.”
Vikki and Chris have seen the positive impact their donations have had on the lives of children and their families. Among the many children they support is Nulu, from Uganda. They visited Nulu, and her family and community, in 2009. The smallest things, says Vikki, can have a big impact on children in places such as Uganda. “We brought koalas and soft soccer balls to Nulu’s school, and you could see the gratitude on the children’s faces. You can’t remove that memory from you mind.”
Today, Nulu is all grown up and runs her own salon. “It’s so worthwhile to know that we’ve played a small part in helping her achieve her dreams,” Vikki says.
“I see our donations as helping children to start on a path to a better future.”