Unfortunately, the festive season is not a happy time for everyone.
Thousands of Australian families will struggle to put a meal on the table this Christmas, let alone buy gifts for their children.
The Salvation Army expects to assist 100 families in the Cessnock area this Christmas through its toy and food appeal.
Many local businesses have come on board to support this year’s appeal, and have already been overwhelmed by the number of donations.
The Salvos will pass the unwrapped gifts on to the parents, who can then experience the joy of giving their children a gift on Christmas morning.
As Salvation Army corps officer Darryn Lloyd told the Advertiser last week, the real joy is in giving, not receiving – and anyone who donates to the Christmas appeal will experience that joy.
Women’s and children’s refuge Jodie’s Place is another place that relies on community support throughout the whole year – but especially at Christmas.
Cessnock City Council, LJ Hooker Cessnock and the Kurri Girl Guides community market day are among the local drop-off points for anyone wishing to support Jodie’s Place this Christmas.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to bring joy to families that are facing the unthinkable,” Cessnock Mayor Bob Pynsent said.
It’s unthinkable, but a sad truth, that many women and children fleeing domestic violence will be without a home this Christmas.
More often than not, the women and children arrive at the refuge with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Along with toys and non-perishable food, the refuge is always in need of donations like clothing, toiletries and household items to help these women get back on their feet.
With Christmas fast approaching, now is the time for the people of Cessnock to think of others, and share what we can to help those who need it most.
Just as we did during last month’s bushfire crisis, it should inspire acts of generosity in our community.
So while you’re doing your Christmas shopping, if you can fit just one extra gift into your budget, please consider making a donation to a giving tree near you.
Whatever you can afford – whether it be a small gift, money or time – it’s sure to make someone’s Christmas brighter.
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