A season to give

CHRISTMAS APPEAL: Mayor Lynette Martin and ac.care Manager Homelessness Services Trish Spark with Christmas hampers provided to families during the festive season.

CITY of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin is encouraging local businesses, community groups, families and individuals to consider those who may be struggling this festive season by providing a donation to the 2021 Mount Gambier Community Mayor’s Christmas Appeal.

The local community raised a record amount of more than $40,000 for the appeal last year, which was distributed to local support agencies – including Uniting Care, ac.care, Lifeline SE, St Vincent de Paul and The Salvation Army.

Collectively the agencies aided approximately 700 adults and more than 620 children and teenagers last Christmas, providing food hampers, vouchers and gifts through the Christmas Cheer program.

“Each year I am overwhelmed by those who donate so generously and given the circumstances and hardships experienced due to the impact of COVID-19, our support agencies are expecting even greater demand for assistance this year,” Mayor Martin said.

ac.care Homelessness and Community Services Manager Trish Spark said the impact of COVID-19 on employment, incomes and housing affordability had increased the number of vulnerable people seeking support from agencies throughout 2021.

“Our staff have done their best to help secure housing and other support for vulnerable people in challenging circumstances and we are proud to have been able to make a significant difference in the lives of families and individuals,” Ms Spark said.

She encouraged anyone who may find themselves struggling financially this Christmas to register for support from the appeal by visiting or contacting ac.care or the other support agencies.

Mayor Martin offered a similar message.

“As the festive season approaches I reflect that Christmas is not always a happy time for everyone in our community and as Mayor, I would like to work towards ensuring that we enable as many people as possible to experience the joy of Christmas,” she said.

“I am very conscious as a result of the ongoing pandemic that not everyone will be in a position to support the appeal, but this considered, a donation of as little as $50 can provide a Christmas hamper for an entire family and make a big difference on Christmas Day.”

Donations to the appeal are available by contacting council either via phone or in person with cheque mailing also an option with tins and a ‘tap and go’ EFTPOS system will also be available at local businesses.