For some, the Christmas season is full of excitement and happiness while for others it can be a time of stress and dread, maybe even more so in this unprecedented year of 2020.
Gifts, travel, parties and food can take a toll on an already restricted budget, which is why the Clare Valley Christian Outreach (CVCO) reaches out to people in need by delivering a Christmas hamper.
The Emergency Relief Office through CVCO has been providing Christmas hampers for the needy in the region for more than 15 years.
Christmas Hamper coordinator, Joanne Cook explained there is no government funding for this program and it is completely community supported.
“The hampers definitely help out many struggling families, getting them through not only Christmas day but the following week where many struggle the most,” Joanne said.
CVCO will donate around 45 hampers into the community this year.
“We make sure those who apply are definitely in need of the donation, with a screening process done to see who really needs it as most who receive the hampers have already registered with a support organisation,” Joanne said.
While this initiative is extremely generous by helping out the struggling in our region, the CVCO can only do so much without community support.
“Each year we ask the community to help us with donations for the hampers.
“We are looking for donations of food stuff with a shelf life past January 2021,” Joanne said.
“Along with tinned foods and pantry staples, we find Christmas items such as mince pies, Christmas cakes and puddings are well appreciated this time of year.”
Along with the hampers from CVCO, Clare Lions and Rotary Clubs also donate a food box, along with donations from Foodland.
The hampers vary in size, with some suitable for singles, couples through to large families.
“People are very appreciative of the Christmas hampers and say it helps them out tremendously at a time that can be very stressful,” Joanne said.
“We encourage the community to be involved with all donations gratefully received.”
Food donations boxes are open for community donations at the Clare Plains Producer office, Foodland Clare, the local Churches and the CVCO Emergency Relief office on Tuesdays from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
These will be collected by the CVCO volunteers on Friday, December 11.
The hampers will be packed on Thursday December 17 and distributed on Thursday 18 from the Clare Uniting Church Hall.
A small act of kindness by you can mean the world to someone who you may never even meet.