WITH just two days until Christmas, Uniting Care, ac.care, Lifeline SE, St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army are busy distributing hampers, toys, food vouchers and gift cards purchased from donations to the Mount Gambier Community Mayor’s Christmas Appeal through the Christmas Cheer program.
The ac.care team is today distributing food vouchers and gifts to 64 families, including 188 children, 75 individuals and nine couples.
“Everyone is just so appreciative of the support provided,” ac.care intake and assessment case manager Rebecca Haggett said.
Local support agencies have reported the demand for assistance this year is greater than ever as the cost of living continues to rise.
“We are seeing a lot of people who have not accessed the service before, which shows the cost of living is really biting people,” Ms Haggett said.
Uniting Care will provide 60 hampers, including food, toys and vouchers to those in need this morning.
“When people give to the appeal at this time of the year, it goes towards next year and we thank everyone for their support,” Uniting Care secretary Barbara Watson said.
“It is just amazing how many businesses and generous people there are in this community.”
In recent days, St Vincent de Paul distributed 142 food hampers to families and individuals in Mount Gambier and Penola.
“80 food hampers were prepared by Foodbank and the remaining hampers were made up as a result of community donations. The Barry Maney family continue to support the appeal with food hampers for the various agencies,” Mr D’Souza said.
“We also distributed 42 boxes of toys donated by local schools, the community, the parish and the Men’s Shed and 100 gift cards.”
Lifeline SE financial counsellor and gambling help worker Bronwyn Martin said the crisis support agency provided 59 families with food vouchers for the festive season this year.
“I think it’s important for people to know their contribution can really make a difference to families and people out there within our community that are struggling,” Ms Martin said.
Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin said it was not too late to donate to the cause, which provides assistance to more than 2300 local people each year.
“I’m very appreciative to our community for their ongoing generosity to the appeal,” she said.
“Just this week I received a generous donation of $2000 from the Rotary Club of Mount Gambier West bringing the current donation total to more than $20,000.”
Donations can be made:
* By phoning (08) 8721 2555 with your credit card details on hand.
* In person at the Mount Gambier City Council customer service counter at the civic centre at 10 Watson Terrace.
* By sending a cheque made out to Mount Gambier Community Mayor’s Christmas Appeal to PO Box 56, Mount Gambier, SA 5290.