Lake Macquarie Mayor, Kay Fraser, has urged locals to give generously to this year’s Mayor’s Christmas Appeal as cost-of-living pressures hit hard for struggling families.
Mayor Fraser launched the appeal last week alongside Samaritans – the social justice service of Newcastle Anglican, which has helped more than 4,000 people across the Hunter in the past financial year through its emergency relief centre.
“Every year, our Lake Mac community has demonstrated its generosity and compassion, donating toys, food and other gifts for families in need in our city,” Mayor Fraser said.
“The Mayor’s Christmas Appeal is a reminder that even in the midst of our most festive season, there are many among us experiencing difficult times – emotionally, financially, or both.”
Samaritans Emergency Relief Coordinator, Beth Hanna said the charity had been sharing Christmas generosity, kindness and goodwill with local families for more than 20 years.
“Gifts generously donated will help us support people in need across our community this Christmas,” she said.
This year’s appeal is open until 15 December, with drop-off sites at Lake Mac Libraries branches and Council’s Speers Point administration building.
“That means anyone can drop off food, toys and other gifts at any of those locations, as well as here at our Admin Building, and they will all be distributed in time for Christmas, Cr Fraser said.
“We’ve also worked with Samaritans to create a handy gift guide to help generous people in our community work out what to donate.”
Suggested gifts include toiletry packs, jewellery, hand cream, chocolate, socks, aftershave and deodorant.
Ideas for kids include beach towels, sun hats and sunscreens, Barbie dolls, sports gear, monster trucks, cars and board games.
Mayor Fraser said gift cards were also idea for all ages.
“Gift cards provide a gift that empowers the recipient to purchase something personal for themselves,” she said.