David* is a hardworking man, and like many Australians looks forward to celebrating Christmas with his family. However, when COVID-19 hit, his employers closed their doors and overnight he became job-less, and he and his family are experiencing poverty for the first time as a result.

Now, David looks to the festive period with dread and fear as he is unable to celebrate the time with his loved ones as they normally do.

Vinnies Christmas Appeal is aiming to raise $300,000 in the Canberra/Goulburn region to support families in need.

“Christmas already puts pressure on families that are experiencing difficulties. Besides the normal stressors of bills, food, rent payments and more, there are the added difficulties of paying for a Christmas meal and presents to celebrate with some normalcy,” said John Feint, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society Canberra/Goulburn.

“With an extreme number of job losses, recent reduction in government support, the end of the eviction moratorium and the economy in recession, this festive period will be one of the most different and difficult in years,” said Mr Feint.

Over this festive period, Vinnies will need to provide more food and financial support than ever before.

“It’s not just the food we provide, but the sense of security that comes with it that makes this support so important,” said Mr Feint.

Getting in contact with his local Vinnies store after the recommendation from a friend, David was able to receive a food hamper as well as a Woolworths voucher and a fuel card. 

David won’t be the only one experiencing a Christmas like this.

“It is crucial that those who can lend their support to Vinnies heading into the festive season do so,” said Mr Feint.

Vinnies wants this to be a Christmas like no other for all the right reasons.

Last Christmas, Vinnies Canberra/Goulburn provided 2,203 Christmas hampers to families in the region.

Donations to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal 2020 can be made at vinnies.org.au, phoning 13 18 12, or at your local Vinnies shop.

*Name changed to protect the privacy of the individual

17 November 2020