Growing up as a child in a destructive and abusive home, I have never had the expected or normal protective factors in my life. I have never had positive relationships with my parents, siblings, extended family or even friends. When I was 16, I broke the cycle and moved out on my own. The only person I could rely on was myself!
I had my first child at age 19. My relationship with her father was rough. I had nothing to model on, except relationships I had watched on tv.Those ideals of the perfect family just didn’t work in real life. I had no idea how to love someone or to accept that someone might actually love me. We spent years going back and forth, hating each other one minute then being fiercely in love the next. Just when we were getting along better, starting to understand each other, my daughter’s father died in a road accident. We were both just 26. My daughter just 7 years old.
Again, I was back to just relying on myself. I had to deal with such heartbreak and loss on my own. My daughter and I were living in university accommodation, while I was studying my last year of teaching. I have no recollection of how I got through that next year of my life.
Relationships were hard, but now, they were near impossible. I went years not trusting anyone. I never thought I would have any more children. I met my now husband, at 33 years old. I thought he was a great guy to hang around, be friends with. The first time he told me he loved me, he wrote it on a wall. We were currently painting his loungeroom. I ran away. It freaked me out. It doesn’t matter what I do, or what I say, this guy… never moves. Doesn’t blink, is always by my side. Because of him, I know what love is. How amazing it is to have someone in your corner, to know I will never have to just rely on myself. We are a team.
My husband, Shane and I have just celebrated 10 years. We also have 5 children together. Who would have known that I would be a mother to 6! We live in rural NSW in an old farmhouse, and we are happy. We want nothing more than to raise happy and healthy kids. A life that I have never had.
One of our sons, Elliot is 4 years old. He has Autism and is non-verbal. We wouldn’t change our son for the world, although living with a child with disabilities is hard, not just for us as parents, but also for his siblings.
After researching assistance dogs, I knew this was the answer for Elliot and the family, however it was a long road ahead fundraising to afford this dog. We applied for a Smart Pups Grant through the POP Foundation.
My initial contact with Monique, I felt nothing but genuine kindness and understanding. Speaking with her, is like chatting to a family member who is interested in our family’s everyday life. When Monique told me we were receiving a grant and Elliot would be put on the waitlist right away, I didn’t believe her. It took a few minutes, for the information to sink in, that these wonderful people are willing to help out families and people they don’t know. Just like that, Shane and I could relax and just concentrate on our family again, knowing that our son will be getting his assistance dog, soon enough.
In a way, The Pop Foundation and Monique have shown me that kindness can go a long way. That even strangers whom you have never met can also be standing in your corner, cheering you on and supporting you. They make life better, give you someone to rely on. They will always hold a special place in my heart.
A big thank you to the Pop Foundation!
We were contacted by Monique at the Pop Foundation after she saw a crowd funder we had set up following my cancer diagnosis to help pay for the costs of private medical treatment.
I had unfortunately been misdiagnosed for close to a year and so by the time the tumour was discovered surgery was not an option. In short I had multiple health complications as a result, which meant me ceasing from work in the first instance and then later down the track my husband also having to have time off work to look after me and our two children.
In short the Pop Foundation was a gift from God. It enabled us to both pay our daughters school fees and assisted us with rent for nine months. Such extreme generosity gave us the breathing space we needed whereby I could focus on my health without the added burden or worrying about not been able to meet our most fundamental living expenses, which needless to say is an additional stress that no one needs when they are already dealing with the many levels of challenges that a health crisis brings and enabled my husband to be present to both myself and our two girls during a very taxing time for us all.
The application process was straight forward and so I would encourage anyone experiencing similar challenges to apply and get a level of help that is rarely forthcoming from other organisations.
Thank you so much once again!
Lucy, Steve and girls
Thank you! Pop foundation!
Having three members in our family with a medical condition can make life a bit challenging, on top of the financial stress and to try and maintain some semi balance of life, can be all very exhausting! The Foundation provided an incredible amount of support aiding in an “assistance dog” and some much needed medical treatment for my wife (Francesca) who suffers with Multiple Sclerosis since age 13.
Having applied for a Smart Pup in 2017, we were overwhelmed with the financial burden we needed to achieve in raising funds for our much needed “assistance dog”. We previously exhausted all avenues with seizure detection equipment with no success, so an assistance dog was a MUST to help Sarah’s struggle with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome. ‘Turbo’ (our assistance dog) has been an incredible and vital addition to our family assisting in the support and comfort for Sarah and the detection of her seizures. Turbo also gives comfort to our eldest son (Jesse) who suffers with ASD and High Anxiety.
What a truly remarkable group of people the Pop foundation are, I remember vividly saying to Monique over the phone “we’re just tired people” and then meeting Monique was a breath of fresh air, such an understanding and compassionate person to represent a beautiful foundation.
Thank you once again Pop Foundation – you truly are playing your Part.
In this we have known the charity of God… 1 John 3:16a.
Love from Michael, Francescas, Jesse, Sarah, Jonah & Turbo.
Thank you POP Foundation
The relief of being referred to the POP Foundation and to have our application approved for financial support was an amazing feeling and the support was accepted with immense gratitude. Suffering the loss of almost all of our remaining cows and calves to flooding after working through six years of drought to keep them alive left us in a state of shock. Unprepared shock!!! The farming lifestyle is your income, but also your life. My husband and I have worked together for 25 years to a point where we were feeling proud of our achievements, through extreme hard work and going without luxuries such as holidays, attending weddings and work events, to have it all taken away was just gut-wrenching.
The financial support from POP Foundation has allowed us to continue providing for our children – for their dental, sporting and schooling commitments that we would have had to forgo in our current situation. The relief, emotionally and financially from receiving this support is huge. We don’t know if we will ever get over our financial losses, but to know the support provided by POP Foundation in our time of need – will forever be grateful. Our children felt the effects of this great tragedy however with POP’s support we have been able to at least keep their life ‘relatively normal’. The show of human spirit within this foundation is truly amazing! – From The Jones “Rural Queensland“
I lost my wife & mother to my 5 children in April of 2016. It completely broke our beautiful family, she was the love of my life, and our rock, and the most caring and loving mother to our children who were aged 6,7,9,11&13 at the time. Losing her was sudden and just too much to bear.
I myself am disabled with a rare brain condition & am unfit for work for the rest of my life, along with PTSD, Osteoporosis, & Epilepsy to name a few of my health concerns. I just didn’t know where to start or what to do; Anna made it all seem so easy. My life is all about my children, the eldest 2 are in the 207th Australian Air Force Cadets with the younger 3 wanting to follow suit, although for now one is a girl guide; another is a boy scout & there’s even a little football star. My 10 year old has ASD and my other 2 boys have serious learning difficulties however they show great confidence and I know Anna would be so proud of the incredible people they are becoming. If it wasn’t for the POP Foundation I truly do wonder (frequently) where we would be right now!
The Foundation made it possible in a big way for our family to afford & organize our lives. POP Foundation are real life angels, that’s no exaggeration in any way! They continue to be there for me on all levels, I’ve had Monique show up at hospital to make sure I’m being looked after, meet me for lunches to get filled in on how we are all going, they truly do care and are down to earth cool people. A HUGE shout out to Brad, Monique & everyone involved with the POP Foundation! You are all in our hearts for life and we appreciate everything you do for us! – Bret
In July 2017, our lives changed forever, in an instant our little family went from living a wonderful life to trauma and chaos and the unknown. My husband Jacko had a terrible workshop accident. Being new to our hometown I was in awe of how much the community pulled together around us and gave us support and love. Most of those first few weeks are a blur.
I remember a few people mentioning to me the POP foundation and to get in contact. It’s crazy how hard it can be to ask for help when you have been so fiercely independent your entire life. I remember meeting with Monique and feeling so much understanding and kindness. In the age we live in it’s so easy to forget that there is so much good in the world.
The POP foundation gave me… Tanaya, wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister the help I so needed. The little things that I just couldn’t get done in a day they stepped in and took care off. Just a simple catch up and chat often lifted my spirit in the most difficult time of my life. 18 months later we are moving forward. Jacko is home and whilst things will never be as they were we will have a good life. My saying is if “you can’t go over the mountain go around it”.
We have so much gratitude and love in our hearts for Monique and the POP foundation. They made me feel like I mattered in all of the craziness. Sometimes the simplest of gestures are the ones that make the biggest impact. I love getting an email or phone call from the POP foundation I always know at the end of it I will smile. So grateful to the POP foundation ❤
“HOPE is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness” – Desmond Tutu
The POP Foundation is filled with amazing kind people that were able to support myself and my family financially and emotionally throughout my journey. I was diagnosed with Aggressive Breast Cancer in 2017. I was 34 years old with 2 daughters my oldest daughter Brooke was 14 and my youngest daughter Sahara was only 4. My Husband Dan and I have a mobile mechanical and hairdressing business in outback Queensland. We were already stretched financially and this was the last thing we were prepared for, for one of us to get sick, we thought we were safe with age on our side.
The POP Foundation came to our rescue, helping us pay bills and loan repayments. This took unbelievable pressure off my family so I could focus on my treatment and getting well. POP Foundation did not stop there with their generosity; they also paid for my girls to do different activities whilst we lived in Brisbane for 5 months. Even though I am now back home POP Foundation continue their support, even if it’s just to check how I am going.
They are such a supportive foundation with real people and huge amazing hearts. Without their help my treatment and recovery would not have been as successful. I am truly grateful to Monique and the POP Foundation for being there in one of my toughest battles – Maree
I would like to sincerely thank Monique and the POP Foundation for their kind and generous support in assisting my children and I through tough times we have been facing in Tasmania.
I am recently widowed after losing my husband of 15 years suddenly to a late diagnosis of cancer in 2016. My husband passed away just 3 weeks following his diagnosis (the day before my 36th birthday).
Together we have 4 children, 13, 11, 6 and 5. My youngest son Levi has Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, anxiety and is severe asthmatic. At this time, Levi had no support plan in place with the NDIS, so there was no funding available even for continence aids.
Life went completely upside down overnight when I lost my husband, with suddenly no daddy around anymore for the children, I was thrown into the demanding roles of being a full time disability carer, taxi, educator, gardener, cook, house cleaner, care-taker and mechanic. As a sole parent to my kids, I had to quickly learn to to do things for myself as I couldn’t afford to pay anyone to help me.
We lived 90 minutes away from therapies and supports for Levi, so getting to such appointments was practically and financially impossible due to being so isolated. The kids schools were an hour away from our property, and the bus stop each day was 20 minutes away, which took i’s toll on me. If the car broke down – we stayed home, if someone got sick – we stayed home, or if I wasn’t feeling too good – we stayed home. As a result of this, my kids missed out on necessary appointments with support workers, psychologists, school and respite activities. We also couldn’t afford eating out, buying new clothes, school uniforms, child car seat/harness for Levi, let alone a new set of tyres for the car.
With assistance from the POP Foundation, we were able to have all those necessary things we needed to make life easier, have our car fixed, as well as move house so that we were closer to supports and schools for the kids.
I would also like to acknowledge the ongoing support that Monique and POP Foundation has provided to Smart Pups in helping us to get an Assistance dog, for Levi that will enable him to become more flexible, have companionship, provide safety at home and school, and assist him to better manage his anxiety and ADHD. We are so excited and looking forward to welcoming our furry companion into our family next year. Thankyou so much and God bless you. – Bettina, September 2018