Spreading Christmas Joy
‘Tis the season to be jolly is certainly the spirit Samaritans strives to achieve for all of the people we support at Christmas time. Whilst many of the people who come to us for support are experiencing severe hardship, this time of year presents a valuable opportunity to lighten their load and spread hope.
Christmas is an uplifting time at Samaritans as we see the wider community band together and spread the joy of the season. Carloads of gifts are delivered every day from local businesses for our Christmas warehouse, which is a hive of activity with people coming to choose gifts for their loved ones. Preparations have also begun for our Christmas Day Lunches in Newcastle and Wyong with hundreds of volunteers and local businesses supporting these events.
Our Christmas volunteers hear an array of stories of hardship from people seeking assistance at this time of year. One particular story encapsulates just how important our work is: of a caring mother Cath* who fled her violent partner and was facing Christmas with nothing.
Her children were very young and the thought of having nothing special for them at Christmas was devastating for Cath. When Samaritans Christmas volunteer Sharon met with Cath, she described the devastating sight of a broken mother.
When Cath arrived at the door, she was crying and very stressed. She had very recently left her violent partner and was left with no money and no possessions. She had no family or friends to turn to for help anymore, and she thought she was going to have nothing to give her kids on Christmas Day.
“There are no words to express the look of pure joy on her face when I showed her the toys and told her about the food and assistance we could give her,” Sharon said.
These people are our neighbours, our friends and the people we see in our communities. Hardship can strike anyone at any time and consistently we band together as a community to help those less fortunate.
Thank you to those who have generously donated to Samaritans Christmas Appeal, put up your hand to volunteer or donated a toy for a child in need to Samaritans Giving Tree. You are truly helping us spread the joy far and wide to those who might otherwise be forgotten at Christmas time.
*Name changed to protect identity.