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Wrapping up the season with compassion this Christmas

Stories of impact from Christmas' past

Christmas can be a tough time for many, and that's especially true in 2023. Millions of people across Australia are struggling this festive season. More households than ever are experiencing food insecurity¹, caused in part by the steepest increase in cost of living in over 20 years².

Your donations can make a huge difference to someone in need at this time of year. Below are some past examples of how the generosity of big-hearted GIVIT donors has brightened the festive season of people in need.

Presents for kids in foster care

For children living in foster care, the festive season is often a complex and emotional experience. While they may feel excited about Christmas, this excitement can be overshadowed by sadness, missing their biological families, previous trauma, and a longing for stability.

In Ipswich, GIVIT provided toys, games, lego and sports equipment for the Child Safety Service Centre to give out to kids living in foster care and their foster families at their Christmas party.

For these children, the gift of a toy for Christmas can be huge in helping them to feel loved and cared for, and giving them something special of their own to look forward to playing with.

The children had an incredible Christmas party and everyone was so appreciative of the Christmas gifts.

SUPPORT OFFICER FROM THE CHILD SAFETY SERVICE CENTRE

Christmas Gifts for First Nations Mums

The Killara Foundation supports First Nations Australians by assisting with housing an employment opportunities, mentoring and youth work.

The Killara Indgenous Women's Hub in Geelong, Victoria is a culturally safe space to bring women together to help each other grow and progress.

For the hub's Christmas party, GIVIT provided craft activities for the kids that attended, and vouchers for the hub to buy a Christmas present for all of the deserving mums.

 

Christmas joy for disaster-impacted communities

Local women from Lismore sorting through Christmas trees and decorations.Christmas can be an emotional time for families and towns recovering from natural disasters. Traditions are interrupted, finances are strained, and people can feel isolated and uncertain about the future. The holiday season can also be a reminder of what's been lost, such as homes and possessions.

In Lismore, GIVIT worked with the council to provide 40 Christmas trees, and plenty of baubles and tinsel to pass on to flood-affected families. 

Many families were living in temporary accommodation, or had lost their jobs due to their workplace being flooded.

 

Volunteers and Lismore locals picking up Christmas decorations.The volunteer said it was an emotional time for families and children who received the items, and explained that it was a hugely important Christmas for the Lismore community to bring some normality and celebration to people's lives during a tough time.

"Sending big hugs to you all at GIVIT and our deepest thanks for all of your fast acting and fantastically organised support at Xmas and since the floods (bushfires too) began.

"What a time it is in our country, and you are still there alongside all of the different groups, helping to hold all of our disaster-affected community afloat."

- Flood recovery worker, Lismore City Council

In Victoria, Greater Shepparton Lighthouse was supporting the communities of Barmah and Cummergunja, where 180 families were completely cut off by floodwaters and provisions had to be brought in by boat.

GIVIT provided two chest freezers to assist with storage of food and essentials, and thousands of dollars worth of grocery vouchers. Staff from the charity made 'Christmas elf' visits to local families, dropping off Christmas puddings purchased with the grocery vouchers, as well as bottles of moisturiser donated into GIVIT's online warehouse by a generous corporate donor.


 

Above left: Redland Community Centre using vouchers from GIVIT to buy Christmas presents for children aged 0-16 that were then provided free to local families experiencing hardship.

Above middle: Ringwood Church in Victoria worked with a local primary school to identify 16 vulnerable students, and provided them with Christmas hamper gifts provided by GIVIT.

Above right: Thanks to generous GIVIT donors, Mission Australia in Darwin provided Christmas food hampers to First Nations Australians whose lives had been impacted by suicide.


 

A Christmas party for a remote town

GIVIT has worked extensively with the Dr Steve Burroughs Foundation, whose aim is to help First Nations Australians living in remote and regional communities.

The town of Peak Hill in regional New South Wales has been heavily impacted by COVID-19, flooding and cost of living over the past few years. 

Dr Steve headed out to the Peak Hill Community Boori Christmas Party, organised by Neighbourhood Central.  GIVIT provided toys for local kids, as well as items for self-care hampers for the grown ups.

We managed to deliver 160 men’s and women’s bags filled with mostly items donated via GIVIT... We made a whole community extremely happy and provided a lot of smiles. The thanks from people and children was enormous.

Without GIVIT our foundation would struggle to meet our demand.

DR STEVE BURROUGHS

Bringing a mum and her kids together

Wrapped kid's Christmas presents ready for Christmas Day.In Sydney, Community Restorative Centre (CRC) was supporting  young mum Anna* and her two children. As a survivor of sexual abuse and domestic violence, Anna was engaged in residential rehabilitation in the lead-up to Christmas.

While she was unable to physically spend Christmas with her children, GIVIT provided vouchers that meant Anna could pick Christmas presents for her kids from a catalogue, and the CRC support worker could then buy them and deliver to them to Anna's kids in time for Christmas Day.

The support worker said that even though the children were too young to understand why their mum wasn't with them on Christms Day, they were so excited to receive presents from her.

Last minute Christmas presents for families in need

"We have used GIVIT for several years. We have been donated everything from bassinets to vouchers, double prams (brand new) to car seats! Nothing is too much to request.

At Christmas, within 24 hours of requesting, I was donated vouchers to purchase Christmas gifts and grocery vouchers for families that come through our department. The support that GIVIT and their corporate partners provide is instrumental in us supporting our children and families within our department.

Signing up and using GIVIT is easy and we can't thank GIVIT and NRMA Insurance enough for everything they do for us."

- Staff member from WA Government Department of Communities (Child Protection and Family Support)

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How to help people in need this Christmas

This Christmas your generosity can have a huge impact on someone's life. Here are some of the ways you can help:

 

 

¹ https://reports.foodbank.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/2023_Foodbank_Hunger_Report_Summary.pdf

² https://www.abs.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/employee-households-see-biggest-rise-living-costs

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