Christmas is a time for giving and receiving love and gifts, for sharing meals and companionship with family members and friends.
Yet many local families and individuals are so stretched to cover basic needs that gift giving is a low priority.
This leaves many people feeling vulnerable and isolated as they struggle to put food on the table or give their children a present.
“Most of us are fortunate enough to see Christmas as a time to relax, take a break from our normal demands, kick up our heels and enjoy good food, perhaps a few drinks, and the company of friends,” said St Vincent de Paul Society’s North Coast president Yvonne Wynen.
“But it’s a different scenario for thousands of North Coast households, and homeless people, who are struggling to buy food, let alone festive goodies, and to cover essentials like rent and electricity, clothes for their kids, and more.”
Ms Wynen said that’s where Vinnies comes in, with the annual Christmas appeal aimed at helping all families have a secure and enjoyable Christmas with their children, relatives and friends.
Sharing our joy by donating to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal is a tangible way of helping others enjoy some of our good fortune, to contribute to their wellbeing at this special time of year and help family unity.Yvonne Wynen St Vincent de Paul
“Sharing our joy by donating to the Vinnies Christmas appeal is a tangible way of helping others enjoy some of our good fortune, to contribute to their well-being at this special time of year and help family unity.
“It also gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your family has played an active role in the happiness of others in our community, even if you never get to meet them”
Ms Wynen referred to figures showing that more than 80,000 people between Tweed Heads and Port Macquarie are experiencing poverty, with a further 38,500 being at risk of it. In addition a high number of households experience rental stress, defined as one-third of total income being spent on rent.
“Even for employed people, financial hardship can be just a few pays away,” Ms Wynen said.
“When people do slip into poverty they face a real risk of becoming homeless. This situation is especially tragic for children, many of whom are in vulnerable circumstances.”
Money donated to Vinnies Christmas appeal on the North Coast will be used to help local families.
Donations are tax deductible and can be made at any of the 28 Vinnies shops between Tweed Heads and Port Macquarie-Hastings, or by calling the Lismore office on 6621 5835.
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