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 examples of how the generosity of big-hearted GIVIT donors made the festive seasons of people n need that bit brighter in 2022.
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.
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
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.
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 in 2022, 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.
Bringing a mum and her kids together
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)
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:
- Follow our 12 Days of Giving campaign on Facebook or Instagram as we try to get practical support to as many people as possible this November.
- Support GIVIT to allow us to help thousands of people doing it tough this Christmas.
- Instead of buying a present, give a Christmas gift in lieu through GIVIT to a loved one.
One million items for people impacted by COVID
With support from NRMA and RACV, GIVIT recently coordinated the donation of its one-millionth item/service to people impacted by COVID-19.
Our Impact | Three years on from the Black Summer Bushfires
Recovery from the devastating Black Summer Bushfires has been tough. Three years on, here's a look at the impact GIVIT has had helping communities to rebuild, recover and heal.
Giving spirit helps seniors maintain connection, mobility, and happiness
GIVIT's kind-hearted kind partner Golding shows their continuous support to GIVIT, and donates valuable items to the community including bedframes and laptops helping people in need.
Warm clothes for winter in WA
The cost of living is forcing many people to choose between rent, groceries, power bills and warm clothing. Support from Hanes helps us get warm clothes into regional areas.