Trixie lives with her young children half hour out of a small town in rural Victoria, where her family has been for 5 generations. She’d always dreamed of creating a home of her own there, but a series of events – losing sub contracted government job due to pregnancy, the medical expenses of having a premature baby, large loans that were granted due to a good paying job, but not yet paid off, a car motor blowing up which led to huge repair costs – spiraled Trixie into debt and crushed her hopes.
Despite her resourcefulness, Christmas was always minimal, the family never went anywhere. Christmas should be a time of joy and wonder, but for Trixie and her family, debt cast a shadow over their Christmas together.
Unable to afford her phone bill, Trixie relied on a phone box out the front of her home for communication with the outside world; isolation was all her young children knew.Whenever her kids would ask for something like new shoes or school trips, or even to visit friends outside their village, the answer always had to be no.
Trixie scraped by with the help of op shops and food banks for about 4 years.
“I’d pay one bill, then I’d end up at the food bank. It’s not what I intended for the kids, it’s not what I wanted for them. It was just a never-ending cycle of sadness. I’d run into friends and burst into tears. I’d become somebody I didn’t recognise.”
After coming across the CAP flyers at her local food bank, debt-coach Jenni came to the family home, the kids were so excited as they hadn’t had someone come over before. For Trixie, the fact Jenni came to her was so significant, she now had hope and was no longer alone, they hugged and cried. She had struggled and strived, and the whole burden was on her shoulders.
Trixie is now a short way off being debt-free and is part of a church community, and Jenni is part of the family.
She understands she can make different choices, and church is so important to her that she budgets petrol so they can afford to go once every two weeks. The family have done more with friends in the past 6 months than in the previous 6 years.
Trixie is excited that this Christmas will be different for her and her children. Trixie’s kids now have a contagious feeling of anticipation about their lives, the kind you normally see in kids at Christmas time.
“Christmas for us — the whole future — is really bright. CAP’s given us that light at the end of the tunnel. I’m really excited and grateful.”