Archbishop Geoffrey Smith will do time locked in a prison cell this weekend – but it’s all in a good cause, to raise funds and awareness for children facing severe disadvantage.
The archbishop’s incarceration is part of the charity Treasure Boxes’ “Locked-In Gala” designed to shine a light on the hardships faced by thousands of South Australian children and their families who feel locked-in to poverty and disadvantage with no apparent way out.
“All children should feel loved and secure and able to fulfil their potential,” Archbishop Smith says. “That so many do not enjoy these basic rights is a sad reflection on our society. I am pleased to be able to take part in this event which I hope will raise both awareness of the their plight and badly needed funds to address their needs.”
The archbishop is one of 15 prominent South Australian “Champions” for the disadvantaged chosen by Treasure Boxes with each focusing on a specific area of disadvantage that resonates with them. These include homelessness, domestic violence, child protection, refugee support, and the welfare of Aboriginal children.
The 15 will each be locked in a cell at the Old Adelaide Gaol in the Parklands on Saturday evening 11 November with nothing but a bottle of water. Later that evening they will go on to attend a fundraising gala on the lawns of the Gaol to focus on the issues facing the poor and vulnerable.
Former test cricketer Wayne Phillips will MC the event, with the night supported by event company Out in the Paddock. Funds raised will provide safe cots for newborns, clean clothing, and essential feeding equipment.
“We witness firsthand the devastating struggles faced by some of the most at-risk and vulnerable families in South Australia,” Treasure Boxes CEO and Founder Rikki Cooke said.
“Our families feel hopelessly ‘locked in’ to a cycle of poverty, racism, homelessness, the child protection system, and domestic violence – with seemingly no way out of their situation. Locked-In raises awareness to the issues our families face and provides a unique way to collaboratively raise much-needed funds to transform the lives of children in South Australia.”
Treasure Boxes was established in May 2015 to provide vital essentials to newborns, babies and children living in disadvantage within our community. Through gifting essential children’s goods to families at risk of poverty, homelessness and domestic violence, it aims to alleviate severe hardship, financial burden, reduce the risk of poverty and homelessness, ease trauma and provide hope to those most vulnerable.
Last year it supported more than 2,500 babies and children, distributing more than 15,000 treasure boxes & other items, to provide families with aid worth nearly $3 million.