COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS: Captain Chris Millard says people need to place more value on time and less on material possessions.
COMMUNITY CHRISTMAS: Captain Chris Millard says people need to place more value on time and less on material possessions. Mike Knott BUN221116SALVOS1

Hundreds to turn to Salvos as Christmas costs add up

WITH 8.4 million people calling Christmas shopping a "financial nightmare”, the Salvation Army's Christmas Appeal means more now than ever before.

More than 200 Bundaberg residents are already seeking support from the Salvos.

Bundaberg Salvation Army Captain Chris Millard said that while people had to look for ways to be better with their money costs were going up regardless.

"But they aren't going up at the same rate as wages,” Capt Millard said.

"What we are aiming for this year is to help people with what they need and not necessarily what they want and help them to learn the difference because you can't buy love,” he said.

"We are encouraging people to buy local. There are bargains out there and living in Bundaberg you can get food for a good price, if you are willing to do a little bit of research.

"The amount of money you spend on your kids won't show them how much you love them, it's how much time you spend with them.”

With budgets getting tighter, Capt Millard said social and family interaction was increasingly important.

"Christmas isn't a time for debt,” he said.

"If you are buying because of a want, ask yourself 'Can I afford it? Is it something I will get a use out of? Why do I want it?'

"The four present rule is always good to follow - something need, read, want and wear,” he said.

"This saves you buying an excess of presents and toys that they don't need and don't play with.

To celebrate what is important at Christmas, the Salvation Army is hosting a Carols on the Lawn on December 10 and a volunteers recognition event.

"What I want people to remember is that it's time that is valuable,” Capt Millard said.

To donate to the Salvation Army Christmas Appeal, click here or phone 137 258.

SAD SALVOS STATISTICS

  • Half a million children under the age of 10 are likely to go without presents this Christmas
  • 2.4 million people worried about how they will pay afford Christmas this year
  • 611,000 saying they will have to sell belongings to cover Christmas costs
  • About 1.8 million people know they will be in debt
  • 12.2 million Australians know of people who are lonely during Christmas Day
  • The Salvation Army is expecting to help 70,000 families nationwide in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day and the months that follow


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