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Donate items to your local library for those in need this Christmas

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Time is running out for Novocastrians to make a difference in someone’s life this festive season.

For the past month, locals have been encouraged to donate non-perishable food and toiletry items as part of the 2021 Newcastle Libraries Christmas Giving Appeal.

But, the campaign is wrapping up on Friday 17 December.

The contributed goods will then be provided to Hunter emergency relief charities Got Your Back Sista, Oz Harvest and Baptist Care, who’ll pass them on to community members in need in the lead-up to 25 December.

“After a challenging 2021, Christmas is the perfect opportunity for locals to support a worthwhile cause and give to those doing it tough,” manager libraries and learning Suzie Gately said.

“The initiative started in 2016 as an amnesty to clear historical library fines and, since then, residents have donated more than 10,000 items, which have been passed on to those in need.

“In 2020, a fines-free program was introduced to support library members during COVID-19.

“It’s since been extended indefinitely.

“However, those with historical unpaid overdue fines or fees associated with lost and damaged books, DVDs etc can have these waived by giving non-perishable food and toiletry items.

“Each donated good equates to $5.

“So, a $20 fine could be waived with four items.

“There is no limit on the number of goods that can be donated or the value of historical fees and charges that can be waived.”

Public programs coordinator Carol Edmonds admitted she was delighted by the response to the Newcastle Libraries Christmas Giving Appeal at the Mayfield branch.

“While the community is in need, especially after more lockdowns this year, residents have been very caring as well,” she said.

“I’m always thrilled to witness such generosity.”

Donations can be made at any library branch in the coming days.

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