The Salvation Army is busy distributing vouchers, hampers and toys to 450 local people as part of the Christmas Cheer program.
Donations to the Mayor’s Community Christmas Appeal provides Uniting Care, ac.care, Lifeline SE, St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army with funds to support the needy within the community during the Christmas period each year.
“The money from the Mayor’s Community Christmas Appeal provides gift vouchers to enable people to go and do their shopping and gift vouchers for the older children,” The Salvation Army Captain Judy Shaw said.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, The Salvation Army ‘elves’ spent the past week packaging up donated toys for 150 children.
“While people don’t get to choose their toys as they normally would, age appropriate gifts have been specifically chosen for each child.”
The Salvation Army has received more than 100 additional requests for assistance over the festive period in 2020.
“The Community Access Network which includes representatives from all of the local agencies have been working together to provide support to our community on Christmas Day.”
“We have referred more than 20 clients to other agencies this year as we are at capacity,” Captain Shaw said.
Lifeline’s Christmas Cheer program has also been buoyed by the donation of toys from local man Paul Sundstrom.
Having recently graduated from the Limestone Coast Regional Gambling Help Service, Mr Sundstrom was inspired to direct the savings he had made from ceasing problematic gambling towards helping the less fortunate this Christmas.
“Lifeline have helped me over the past six months and so I wanted to give something back,” Mr Sundstrom said.
“I have been going out each week to buy toys to donate because it is important that children have a present to open at Christmas.”
City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin is appreciative of the work local service agencies provide to the community.
“Our service agencies work hard throughout the year and during the busy Christmas period to bring some festive spirit into the lives of local people who may be finding things a little difficult. Their input into our community is truly special and I know so many people are grateful for their work,” Mayor Martin said.
It’s not too late to donate to the Mayor’s Community Christmas appeal. Donations can be made through the following channels:
Media contact: City of Mount Gambier Media and Communications Coordinator Sharny McLean on 8721 2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org