Local communities boost Marymead CatholicCare’s Giving Tree
As more and more families feel the pressure of rising living costs, the generosity of the local community is shining brightly through Giving Tree appeals around the Archdiocese this Christmas.
St Peter Chanel parishioner and St Vincent de Paul Yarralumla conference vice president Wanda Kaucz said she was touched by the support of her wonderful parish.
“Last year, the number of people looking for help with presents increased, and this year, it is even worse,” she said.
“People are having to choose between paying the power bill and paying for Christmas presents, and we don’t ever want to see that happen. I think times are hard for a lot of people now, and the parish has responded by giving very generously.”
Mrs Kaucz said she and her husband Jim go into the church every couple of days to clear the presents from under the tree and wrap them ready to be taken to families in need.
“The quality of goods is beautiful,” she said.
“Just last Sunday after Mass, we had four huge bags full of gifts donated. Even the children are going shopping with their parents to choose presents, and I think that is lovely, because it means a child coming from a reasonably well-off family is realising there are kids out there who don’t have anything, and they want to make a difference.”
Next door to St Peter Chanel, the St Vincent de Paul office is also bursting with gifts from the Archdiocese-wide Giving Tree appeal.
Over at Marymead CatholicCare, Executive Director of Service Delivery, Erin MacArthur said this year, Catholic Education, among other community partners, had given generously to the Christmas Giving Tree appeal and committed to raising further funds to support homelessness services.
“We recognise that Christmas can be a very stressful time for many families in our community, with more and more people feeling an additional ‘financial squeeze’ due to the ever-rising cost of living,” she said.
“Canberrans are very generous and want to help people in their community but sometimes don’t know how or where to start. The Giving Tree supports people, organisations and local businesses to give in a meaningful way, using this simple yet effective platform to donate brand new, good quality and age-centric gifts.”
Erin, who also oversees the portfolio responsible for Homelessness Services for the organisation, said all donations go directly towards people in need and are carefully selected for each client or family.
“These amazing donations are also shared with other inter-agency partners offering complimentary child, youth and family services to ensure no child goes without this Christmas,” she said.
“The gifts will also go to families in need and will support a number of people who are supported by MCCG’s homelessness services, such as Mackillop House and MINOSA Men’s accommodation services.”