Families Need Your Support During A Christmas Like No Other

1 December 2020

Vinnies says that between COVID-19, the government’s decision to wind back income support payments, unprecedented job losses and economic recession, thousands of households, including those impacted by the pandemic, are unsure how they’ll be able to keep the lights on – let alone put presents under the tree this Christmas.

The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW says support for its annual Vinnies Christmas Appeal is needed more than ever to help struggling Australian families, including many who have previously never needed assistance.

“Thousands of families are experiencing immense hardship and stress in Australia and this has been made worse by COVID-19. For many that pain is only going to intensify at Christmas,” said Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.

“The Vinnies Christmas Appeal will ensure people have some hope in these uncertain times. With the community’s generosity, we’ll be able to help households doing it tough including those struggling with the ongoing impact of the pandemic have something to celebrate during the festive season.

“Over the past year almost half the people who came to us seeking assistance lacked enough food. It is unacceptable that in a country as prosperous as ours that people are going without the basics and forced into a position where they have to decide between paying rent or having to skip meals.”

A recent report from The Australia Institute suggests the government’s decision to wind back the JobSeeker support payment just days after Christmas will push an additional 51,000 people in NSW into poverty.

‘Before the pandemic we already had too many people struggling due to the inadequate rate of JobSeeker. The government is cutting income support just days after Christmas and failing to implement a long-term solution that allows people to live with dignity,” said Mr de Groot.

Peter McNamara, President of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW, said as more people turned to Vinnies for help, many for the first time, he was urging those Australians in a position to make a donation, big or small, to support the Vinnies Christmas Appeal.

“We are so grateful to the thousands of everyday people who give what they can to Vinnies so we can help those less fortunate. This is the true spirit of Christmas and shows what a caring, compassionate community we have,” said Mr McNamara.

Donations can be made at www.vinnies.org.au, on 13 18 12 and at all Vinnies Shops. Donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

Media contact: media.nsw@vinnies.org.au | 0417 446 430