For many families, Christmas is a time full of blessings, gifts and special meals with loved ones.
But, sadly, for some, it can also present emotional and financial stress.
To help alleviate that pressure, Newcastle Anglican’s service agency Samaritans has launched its 2023 Christmas Appeal to support those who are struggling in the region.
Samaritans president Bishop Peter Stuart said the charity had been sharing Christmas generosity, kindness and goodwill with as many families as possible for more than 20 years.
“Every year, we support thousands of people in our community who do not have sufficient resources for food, utilities and basic living needs,” he explained.
“We also know that their emotional and financial struggles become more intense during the festive season.
“Often, it is harder to get assistance.
“So, Samaritans is committed to making a positive difference.
“This year, as you prepare to celebrate Christmas with your loved ones, we are inviting you to extend the spirit of Christmas by supporting others.”
Donations to Samaritans Christmas Appeal will provide local families with crisis care programs, a safe place to stay, emergency food supplies, lunch on 25 December, and gifts to put under their tree.
Money raised goes towards the charity’s programs throughout 2024, too.
Samaritans Emergency Relief (ER) coordinator Beth Hanna said its centres had helped more than 4,000 people across the region in the past financial year.
“Many are struggling with cost-of-living pressures, including high rent, large increases in electricity and gas bills, and a rise in fuel and mortgage rates,” she stated.
“Based on conversations we have with participants through ER, Christmas will place additional pressures on household budgets that are already feeling the strain.
“Many of the people we see have indicated they are worried about how they will provide gifts for their children and meet the extra demands of Christmas.
“There is also an emerging trend of those who are employed seeking support through ER as they find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet.
“They tell us they are living from payday to payday with no ability to put anything aside for ‘rainy days’ or to provide what they see as their responsibility for Christmas Day celebrations and gifts.”
Visit www.samaritans.org.au/donate for more information about how you can contribute to Samaritans 2023 Christmas Appeal.
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- DV advocate Meg Dolan praises Jenny’s Place’s Empowered Walk
- Justine Gaudry: Founder farewells The Olive Tree Market
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