More than 600 Dubbo students will be helped with their back to school costs by the Smith Family, but many more are on the waiting list.
The Dubbo branch of the Smith Family supports 610 people through the Learning for Life program. It involves scholarship payments twice a year to be able to buy school supplies, the help of Learning for Life family partnership coordinator Dawn Redding, and extra support programs like homework clubs and career planning.
"We are always full in Dubbo and there's always a need," Ms Redding said.
"There's just so much need in the community and I think a lot of people don't realise how many people do struggle just to set their kids up with the basics for their education."
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The Smith Family program is targeted at low-income families with students in primary school. While only primary school children are accepted into the program, once they join, they are supported through to high school and tertiary education.
Ms Redding said not only did the program give the students the basics like school supplies, but it also made them more engaged with their schooling, thereby breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
"That's where the program came from many years ago. It was asking out emergency clients who were coming back month after month how we can break that cycle and they said to educate our kids," she said.
"There are a lot of kids [in the program] who are the first in their family to finish Year 12 and even go onto university study. We've got a number of students who have gone on to become teachers and are now working in the Dubbo community.
"It just opens their eyes to new possibilities. There are a lot of children who come from families who aren't working, so it gives them some options or they can see what's involved in the workforce and what's available to them."
Ms Redding, who has been involved with Learning for Life for the past 15 years, said she told her families not to consider the sponsorship as a hand out, but a hand up.
Those wishing to help can make donations to the Smith Family or sponsor a child.
"A lot of the students make the decision to get through Year 12 because someone has sponsored them the whole time and they feel an obligation to that person for what they've given," Ms Redding said.
Volunteers are also needed for the after school homework club, which will start in March.
The Smith Family program coordinator Sonia Strachan said at the moment there were only two people who had put their hands up to help out.
She said more volunteers would allow her to expand the program.