IN a prosperous city like Gladstone, there are still many families who struggle day to day.

Christmas is a particularly hard time as children add their expectations to the weight of worries affecting so many families.

The Observer's Adopt-a-Family appeal aims to help make Christmas a special time for many of these families.

The 2014 appeal is being launched today by patron and rugby league legend Shane Webcke.

He has been part of the appeal for seven years.

"When I was growing up our family would have likely needed something like this sort of help. We did it fairly tough," he said.

"My wife and I and our kids now adopt a family each year.

"It's a great way for us to show our kids that some people really do it tough. It's good for the kids to know that.

"But for this appeal, many of these families would be facing a bleak Christmas. That's why I love being part of it.''

APN Australian Regional Media (which includes The Observer) CEO Neil Monaghan said APN newspapers were committed to their communities.

"We want to create an environment that enables people to put their hand up for help.

"It's not the Australian way to ask for a hand-out. But we don't want pride to stand in the way of asking for help.

"We are local people helping other local people. It's great that our APN newspapers and staff are part of this appeal.

"We are delighted to be able to give something back to the communities we live and work in," Mr Monaghan said.

Get involved:

  • The list of families will appear in The Observer from Wednesday and online.
  • The families will be numbered and listed under each charity.
  • Sponsors will be asked to provide a food hamper and a present for each member of the family.
  • Sponsors can be private families, businesses, church groups, schools.
  • To help a family call the charities named in the list


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