At Christmas the focus is on children, abundance and sharing, so it can be a very lonely time for people living on their own, isolated from family and friends.
St Vincent de Paul Society members, volunteers and staff will be assisting people throughout the Christmas and New Year season, witnessing first-hand how tough Christmas can be for some, showing that someone cares.
Denis Walsh, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW State President, is calling on the community to support the Vinnies Christmas Appeal.
“While food hampers and toys are wonderful for families, providing vital financial and emotional support may be more welcome for many,” says Mr Walsh.
“We haven’t reached 50 per cent of our target yet, which is very disappointing because it means we won’t be able to meet the demand for assistance across the state. Many people face the dilemma of whether to buy a turkey or pay their rent.”
Jack de Groot, St Vincent de Paul Society NSW CEO, says that extending the hand of friendship is what Vinnies does best.
“Last festive season, food, including vouchers and hampers, made up nearly 50 per cent of the total spend of over $2.7 million. In addition, the Society distributed $920,944 worth of Energy Accounts Payment Assistance (EAPA) vouchers towards electricity bills,” says Mr de Groot.
“But we know that it is a listening ear and an open heart can make the biggest difference.
“Glenda, one of our members, visited an elderly woman who lived on her own. They sat together, drinking tea and sharing trifle recipes. Glenda left an hour later, knowing that just spending the time chatting had lifted the woman’s spirits and reduced her feelings of isolation.
“Our members, volunteers and staff do an amazing job but it isn’t possible without donations from our supporters. We welcome the generosity of the public at this time because it brings joy, security and safety to so many of the people we assist.”
Extend your hand this Christmas and donate to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal at www.vinnies.org.au/donate or by calling 13 18 12.