Branch out and give back to locals
BRIGHTEN Christmas Day for a family doing it tough by shopping at Target Hervey Bay this season.
Target and UnitingCare have once again teamed up for their Annual Christmas Appeal which raises money and gifts for local families in need.
Target shoppers have the chance to buy a bauble for $2, a white Christmas box for $3 or place an unwrapped present under the Christmas tree in store.
UnitingCare Christmas Appeal co-ordinator Joan Whitmore has seen first-hand the difference the appeal can make for a struggling family.
"We have people phoning on Christmas Eve looking for assistance because they've just realised they've got nothing for their children," Mrs Whitmore said.
"We assisted just over 50 families last year, which doesn't seem much, but when you get the children of those families involved, it's quite a bit.
"We have so many people coming in so desperate and just seeing the look on their faces and their reaction to what we've given them is wonderful."
Mrs Whitmore said UnitingCare worked closely with local charity We Care 2, who provide food hampers.
"We also work with school chaplains and the organisation for the Angel Ministry Appeal, Domestic Violence Appeal and our appeal is open to anybody who needs gifts," she said.
"But they have to be receiving Centrelink and provide a Centrelink card if they come in."
For those who would prefer to buy a gift, Mrs Whitmore asked the community to keep older children in mind.
"We do find the majority of the gifts are catered for the younger children," she said.
"If people are going to donate gifts, we would like gifts for the older children, say from 8-16 years, because... we don't get enough for the older ones."
The Target and UnitingCare Christmas appeal runs until December 24.
For more information or to donate online, visit https://www.unitingcarechristmasappeal.com.au/