Christmas cheer is on its way
The Christmas spirit is upon us here at Anglicare, as donations to our Christmas Appeal flow in.
It’s one of the busiest times of the year for our Parish Community Development Worker Margaret Savage. As the logistics whizz behind Anglicare’s Christmas Appeal, it’s her role to clarify what items are most in need, put the call out to parishes and school communities, collect their donations, turn them into hampers and baskets and arrange their distribution to people in need around the State.
All funds raised from Anglicare’s Christmas Appeal, are being used to purchase groceries and toiletries, back-to-school items and vouchers for people who have had contact with any of Anglicare’s support services, across housing, disability services, home care for older Tasmanians and wider community programs.
At the time of writing, 1000 vouchers had already been distributed. Anglicare had also covered specific one-off costs for some clients in particular need: a person experiencing family violence is now able to afford to move house, and a youngster keen to join their local Little Athletics Club doesn’t have to worry about the cost of registration and uniform.
Coordinating the Christmas donations requires a lot of energy (and sometimes muscle) but the rewards are huge, says Margaret.
“It’s been a difficult year for everyone and yet it’s amazing how our Parish and school partners continue to find the resources to give,” she said.
“Already we have received gifts of food and funds from St Lukes Taroona, the Hutchins School, All Saints Network Makers Group, St Marks Pontville and Edge Anglican.
“The variety of donations is wonderful. We have received many Christmas puddings and mince pies, chocolates and biscuits. These just add to all the essential food items and make our hampers that bit more festive,” said Margaret.
“We have also received children’s back packs, drink bottles, school clothes and stationery, along with personal hygiene items and gifts for adults and families. We are grateful for all these donations, they help us meet the needs of the community at Christmas.
“Anglicare is also grateful to be a recipient of funds raised through this year’s ‘virtual’ ABC Giving Tree Appeal. Although people were not able to donate physical items this year, the money raised will go a very long way towards empowering the people we reach out to across the State.”
Community groups reach out
Margaret is delighted that it’s not only church groups who understand the power of reaching out at Christmas time.
Members of the Fitness in the Park group based in the City of Clarence made a $400 donation to Anglicare’s Youthcare program recently. Youthcare provides short-term crisis accommodation and other support to young men in the 13-20 year age group in Hobart’s northern suburbs.
“It’s the third year in a row that this lovely group of people have chosen Youthcare to receive their end-of-year donation. It’s a wonderful gesture that we appreciate very much and we will use the funds to purchase Christmas gifts and run activities for the young men over summer.
“We were also thrilled to receive very generous toiletry packs from Share The Dignity Tasmania that we will distribute at our youth accommodation and education facilities.”
Main picture above: Parishioners from St Lukes Taroona spread the Christmas cheer.