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Donations urgently needed to help relieve the Christmas cost crunch

Donations urgently needed to help relieve the Christmas cost crunch

As demand soars for Christmas support services, two Tasmanian organisations are calling on the community to help make the season special for those most in need.

Hobart City Mission and St Lukes are joining forces on a Christmas donation drive this December. People can leave an unwrapped new toy under the St Lukes Hobart Christmas tree until end-of-business on Thursday 14th December. Toys, non-perishable food and financial donations can also be given directly at City Mission’s Hobart and Moonah offices until 5pm that day.

Hobart City Mission CEO Harvey Lennon said the local community needed support more than ever this Christmas.

“The increased cost of living and housing crisis are continuing to put pressure on the people of southern Tasmania, and without donations we can’t meet this increasing demand,” Mr Lennon said.

“Since applications for our Christmas Assistance Program opened in October, we’ve been inundated with more than 1,648 families – including almost 3,000 children – applying for assistance.

“That’s a 63 per cent increase in families compared to 2022, and a 72 per cent increase in the number of kids affected.

“We talked to one mum recently who was so grateful for the support she received last year. She said Christmas had always been a special time for her family. It was only because of this support that she could make Christmas special for her kids too – just how she remembered with her own mother.”

The Christmas Assistance Program surge reflects the growing demand on Hobart City Mission’s Emergency Relief program, where the number of food packs handed out every month has increased by around 30 per cent.

St Lukes CEO Paul Lupo said the organisation was delighted to support the Christmas donation drive with a gift of its own – a $10,000 donation to the appeal – as well as providing an easy-access central location for people to drop in with their presents.

“Rising cost-of-living is impacting us all, but when times are tough Tasmanians are very good at coming together and rallying around those most in need,” Mr Lupo said.

“If you can, give what you can. A small donation can have a big impact on families who are doing it tough. Giving also builds social connectedness and improves everyone’s mental health, which aligns with our vision of making Tasmania the healthiest island on the planet.

“We’re thrilled to contribute $10,000 to the cause. Let’s take care of each other this Christmas and spread joy and wellbeing to every home.”

Donation points
Where: St Lukes Hobart (corner of Liverpool and Elizabeth Streets)
What: Unwrapped new toys
When: Until 5pm Thursday 14th December

Where: Hobart City Mission, 50 Barrack St Hobart or 11 Main Rd Moonah
What: Non-perishable food items, unwrapped new toys and financial donations (Barrack St office, online at hobartcitymission.org.au or over the phone on 6215 4200)
When: Until 5pm Thursday 14th December
Further information: Emily Woodgate, Timmins Ray Public Relations: emily@timminsray.com.au