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Published November 18th 2019
How to help those in need this Christmas
It's been said and sung many, many times before that Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year. But for many people, Christmas is not so very wonderful at all. In fact, it's the time of the year when people do it especially tough, even in this lucky country we call Australia.
For example, the Australian Council of Social Service's (ACOSS)2018 Poverty in Australia report found that over 3 million people (including 739 000 children) are living below the poverty line. That's one in eight adults and one in six children who will be doing it tough this Christmas.
Christmas is a season of giving. So what can we do to help those who are struggling and those who are in desperate need in our communities? Here are twenty ways how we can do our bit to help those in need this Christmas.
1. Vinnies/IGA Christmas Drought Appeal. Vinnies is delighted to be partnering with IGA again this Christmas to support people in regional communities devastated by drought. Head into your local IGA store this November and December to help spread the joy of Christmas by purchasing a Christmas Drought Appeal token or products with a Community Chest ticket. Vinnies Christmas Drought Appeal Gift Tokens will be on sale for $2 from 11 November to 29 December 2019, with all funds raised going directly to support farmers and families who are struggling to get through the drought. Specially marked Community Chest products will also be available from 2-22 December 2019 at participating IGA stores to assist in raising much-needed funds for farmers and their families.
You can also donate to Vinnies' Bushfire Appealwhere 100% of donations to the appeal will go to bushfire-affected communities.
2. The Salvation Army Christmas Appeal. There are many ways you can help the Salvos support families and children in need this Christmas such as financial donations, volunteering your time, donating toys, and buying a charity Christmas card. Go here for more details.
3. Kmart/Salvation Army Wishing Tree. The Salvation Army is also once more teaming up with Kmart and supporting those in need this Christmas with the Kmart/Salvation Army Wishing Tree Appeal. There are several ways you can support the Wishing Tree Appeal. You can donate online; contribute $1 to your transaction in-store by clicking the Wishing Tree logo on the self-serve checkouts; drop $1 into a coin collection box at any register; choose a practical gift that will go beyond Christmas time and leaving it under the Wishing Tree in-store; or take a bauble tag off the Wishing Tree and scan the barcode at any register.
The Smith Family's Toy & Book Appeal is your opportunity to help bring a smile to a disadvantaged child's face this Christmas. This year, with your help, The Smith Family aims to deliver over 81,000 new toys and 54,000 new books to 27,000 Australian children living in disadvantage. Go here to find out ways you can help.
5. Barnardos Australia. The Barnardos Gifts for Kids Christmas Gift Appeal gives thousands of disadvantaged Australian children the opportunity to open a present on Christmas Day. This year Barnardos is hoping to receive 10,000 presents for the children in their specialised programs, some of whom have experienced abuse, neglect, poverty and homelessness and do not normally get the chance to have presents at Christmas. Your gift donation will have a lasting impact on these children's lives. Please donate here.
6. Guide Dogs Australia.
With your support, Guide Dogs Australia can assist more people with vision impairment and prevent avoidable sight loss amongst Australians, including many children.
To find out ways you can help this Christmas, please go here.
7. Red Cross Christmas Appeal.
Your donation is important. It will provide comfort, hope, healing and dignity when people need them most. It could be a family recovering from a bushfire or Aussie farmer battling drought, an elderly person living alone and feeling isolated, or a newly-arrived refugee trying to make ends meet at Christmas. Your donation tells them that they matter and you care.
To support the Red Cross this Christmas, please go here.
Marymead, a well-respected, not-for-profit organisation servicing the ACT and southern and western regional areas of NSW, has been delivering a range of high quality, family support services to children, young people and their families since 1967. Marymead always appreciates the generosity of the local community for their various donations. If you would like to give a material gift to Marymead, simply drop it into the Marymead office at 255 Goyder Street, Narrabundah.
You can also go here to find out other ways you can help.
9. Karinya House.
Karinya House is a community-based organisation providing supported accommodation, transitional housing, and outreach services to pregnant and parenting women and their families who are in crisis. Go here to find out ways you can help.
10. Communities @ Work Giving Tree.
Communities At Work is a Canberra-based organisation that supports thousands of Canberrans every year including the vulnerable and disadvantaged, low-income families, the homeless, women and children fleeing domestic violence, at-risk youth, and the frail aged. Why not get your school, workplace or community group to host a Christmas Giving Tree this year? Your support will provide gifts to children and individuals across Canberra who otherwise may go without. Details here.
11. Target/Uniting Care Christmas Appeal.
The Target Christmas Appeal has partnered with Uniting Care Australia for the past 28 years to give customers the chance to be there for someone this Christmas. The Appeal runs from the 31st of October to the 24th of December. Customers are encouraged to purchase a $1 bauble found at cash registers in all Target Stores or make an online contribution. 100% of all contributions go directly to Uniting Care Australia. Details here.
12. Mission Australia.
For the last 160 years, Mission Australia has been helping people move towards independence by combatting homelessness, assisting disadvantaged families and children, addressing mental health issues, fighting substance dependencies, and much more. Please help them continue their good work this Christmas by donating here.
13. Lifeline Australia.
Over 28,000 Australians will reach out to Lifeline for our help this Christmas period. Your gift to Lifeline's Christmas Appeal today can help to ensure that Lifeline Crisis Supporters have all the training, equipment and support they need to save lives and give hope this Christmas. Please make an urgent donation here before the 25th of December so Lifeline can give hope and help to every single one.
14. Myer Christmas Bear.
Meet Ella, Myer's 2019 Christmas Charity Bear. With each purchase of Ella, $1 will be donated towards the Myer Charity Community Fund. Ella retails for $19.99 and is available at your nearest Myer store.
15. Anglicare Christmas Appeal and Pantry Appeal.
As the social justice arm of the Anglican Church, Anglicare's mission is to tackle disadvantage, helping children and families break free from the cycle of poverty. To find out ways how you can donate and give hope to someone this Christmas, please go here.
16. St John's Care.
St John's Care aims to bridge the gap and break the cycle of disadvantage, isolation and economic hardship with compassion, advocacy, respect and encouragement through the provision of emergency relief and other programs throughout the ACT. Please go here to find out ways how you can help.
17. Lion's Clubs Christmas cakes and puddings.
Support your local Lions Club and the good work they do in our communities by purchasing their famous Christmas cakes and puddings. You can usually find them at your nearest shopping centre in the lead up to Christmas. More details here.
18. Alannah and Madeline Foundation.
The Alannah & Madeline Foundation is one of Australia's most respected children's charities and is dedicated to protecting children from violence and its devastating impact. The Foundation cares for children who have experienced or witnessed serious violence, and run programs that prevent violence and advocate for children's safety and well-being. For more information and to find out how you can help, please go here.
19. RSPCA ACT.
It's not just people who suffer. Animals do, too! Especially during the holiday season. Give hope to shelter animals and help the RSPCA care for abused, neglected and unwanted animals this Christmas. Details here.
20. ACT Rescue and Foster (ARF).
You can also donate this Christmas to ACT Rescue & Foster (ARF). ARF aims to save and improve the lives of dogs in the Canberra region, as well as in surrounding regions. Please go here to find out more.