Campaign to create a happy Christmas for all
THE Gympie Times is working in conjunction with the Salvation Army to make a difference to struggling families this Christmas.
The Adopt-a-Family Christmas appeal last year helped nearly 30 families to have a celebration they otherwise would have been unable to afford.
This year the drive is on again, and we are encouraging people to adopt one of the families who, without help, will have no cause to celebrate.
The Gympie Times will run a five-week campaign where you can select a family to help and make a real difference for them this Christmas.
This is also an opportunity for workplaces to get involved to help make their sponsored family's Christmas special.
Currently there are 20 families that require sponsorship through the Salvation Army and The Gympie Times with that number expected to grow as Christmas approaches and more people seek assistance.
Major Brian Smith from the Salvation Army said the Christmas season seems to emphasise to the poor, lonely and homeless their bleak situation, leaving them feeling left out of mainstream community activities.
"Sadly Christmas is not a good time for everyone.
"The Salvation Army will do everything in its power to make sure that these people aren't forgotten," Maj Smith said.
The idea of the appeal is to select a family printed in the paper and take their number.
Then contact either the Salvation Army or the Gympie Times (depending on whether they are a Salvation Army contact or Family Charity contact).
Once you have successfully adopted the family, their number will be crossed out.
"We are asking that when a family is printed in the paper, you take their number and buy a hamper and toys relevant to the ages nominated.
"We ask you to put the hamper in a washing basket. That may be useful to the family later on," Maj Smith said.
In addition to adopting a family, the Salvation Army needs your help to make up hampers for other members of the community.
To help out in other ways, you can donate new toys and gifts and festive non-perishable food at the Salvation Army Church on Ramsey Rd, Southside.
ABOUT 150 families from Gympie and surrounds were given hampers for Christmas last year, valued at more than $100 from sister charity, the St Vincent de Paul Society.
St Patrick's Conference of St Vincent de Paul president Mary Condon thanked Gympie for its generosity in the past.
"You make it possible for St Vincent de Paul here in Gympie to give a hand to those who need it," she said.