The Salvation Army is launching its annual Christmas Appeal, aiming to raise $12 million to ensure Port Macquarie-Hastings residents in need are among those have the Christmas they deserve, particularly after a devastating year of bushfires, drought and COVID-19.
This year, through its frontline mission, The Salvos have helped more than 80,000 people impacted by COVID-19, providing over $10 million worth of financial assistance.
Although Christmas is a time of joy for many Australians, those doing it tough will find the festive season ahead the most challenging and difficult time of the year.
Many Australians are living below the poverty line, struggling to afford the necessities.
This year, will also see increased numbers of people spending the Christmas period alone, due to the impact of COVID-19.
"The Salvation Army would like to thank the local community of Port Macquarie-Hastings region for their continual support throughout the year," Major Kevin Unicomb from Port Macquarie Salvos said.
"Christmas is the busiest time of the year for our Salvation Army personnel, and we are expecting to see a large increase in demand for our services this year due to the challenges raised through drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
"We would ask you to support our Christmas Appeal this year, to help us leave no one in need this Christmas."
At Christmas, Salvation Army teams will distribute more than 30,000 hampers and vouchers, give out over $1.3 million worth of gifts and toys and support more than 50,000 families in need.
For financial and emergency assistance, please reach out to The Salvos' national financial support service on 1300 371 288.
"After the devastating year that has been, it is more important than ever to look out for one another, to connect with each other and embrace the true meaning of Christmas," Major Unicomb said.
"This Christmas may you experience peace, joy and hope, as we focus once again on the birth of Christ. From all of us at The Salvos, we wish you a very happy Christmas."
To leave no one in need this Christmas, donate to The Salvation Army's Christmas Appeal at salvationarmy.org.au or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).
Donations can also be made in person at any Kmart store.