CAN YOU HELP?: Uniting Church’s Rev Allan Smith, Target store manager Emily Brien, employee Caitlin Akers and UnitingCare’s Tracy Bocos.
CAN YOU HELP?: Uniting Church’s Rev Allan Smith, Target store manager Emily Brien, employee Caitlin Akers and UnitingCare’s Tracy Bocos. Andrew Morgan

Call goes out for support during Christmas

REVEREND Allan Smith is asking people to open their hearts, their cupboards and their wallets this Christmas to help Lifeline give families in need some gifts for Christmas.

"From the outside, Gladstone looks like it's a pretty wealthy city but when you dig below the surface there is a lot of people who are really struggling," he said.

"As a minister you see that side and you also see the people who want to help."

Rev Smith helped launch the Target and UnitingCare Giving Box appeal (formerly Operation Santa) last week, where people can donate gifts and dry goods to the appeal in Target Kin Kora.

"It's wonderful that the people who want to help are able to," he said.

"And that Lifeline knows the families that need the gifts the most."

He said people could donate gifts at the gift box at Target and he was also taking donations to Lifeline that came through the church.

"We are asking for gifts, but also through the church people can donate dry goods and non-perishable food," Rev Smith said.

The appeal is in its 23rd year and has so far distributed 1.7 million gifts - and still counting.

More than 26,000 families Australia-wide benefited last year and this year the volunteers and staff are hoping to help even more struggling families.

Uniting Care staff and volunteers will collect the gifts and distribute them to families in need before Christmas Eve.

For more information about the Christmas gift appeal and how you can help, visit www.givingbox.com.au.

GIFT APPEAL:

  • Donate a gift for an in-need family at Target Kin Kora from now until December 24.
  • The Uniting Church is also accepting gifts, as well as dry goods.
  • The donated items will be passed to Lifeline to help struggling families.
  • Last year's appeal provided Christmas gifts for 26,000 families Australia-wide.
  • An amazing 1.7 million gifts have been distributed in the past 23 years.


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