The added financial burden and stress that comes with the holiday season will be felt twice as hard by many families in the community this year, according to coordinators of one of the country’s biggest charities.
The annual St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal allows these families to feel hopeful in the lead-up to Christmas, delivering hampers and baskets stocked with food and toys in hopes of boosting morale in their homes.
The Ross family, who experienced severe hardships in 2014, has received help through the St Vincent de Paul Hoxton Park Conference each holiday season for the past two years.
“It is hard to sit back and admit that you’re struggling and you need help, but the volunteers have always been so understanding and reassuring,” oldest son Michael, 18, said.
“Without the food and assistance offered by the Christmas appeal, our family Christmas celebrations over the past few years would have been much less joyful.”
The Hoxton Park conference will again enlist the assistance of Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School and Good Samaritan Catholic College, with donations from students forming the hampers to be distributed.
High school year coordinator Vlade Micev has noticed first-hand how the appeal has allowed the students to unite for the sake of those less fortunate than themselves.
“They learn for themselves how to understand that Christmas is not about presents and tangible items but family, love, and care for one another,” Mr Micev said.
“There are always people less fortunate than us and when we receive a family profile we begin to understand the hardships they may face.”
The Hoxton Park conference will assist 274 people in 2016 through the appeal, making a difference to 62 families.
Volunteers will begin delivering hampers on December 12.
For more information, and to donate to the St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal for 2016, visit https://www.vinnies.org.au/page/Donate/Current_Appeals/Vinnies_Christmas_Appeal_-_Do_Something_About_It/.