Response to appeals overwhelming
THE effects of the global financial crisis have hit some Bundaberg families hard, but the hard times have also shown the town’s generosity.
Tom Quinn Community Centre community services manager Tom Osborne said the response to their appeals had been overwhelming.
“The public response to our Christmas tree appeal with Kmart has been outstanding — the best ever,” he said.
The Tom Quinn Community Centre, run by the Salvation Army, has been placed in charge of sorting and distributing the toys to families in need.
“Whether they are getting a food hamper or Santa is giving them a gift that’s been donated it makes it all worthwhile when you see the reaction — it does your heart good,” he said.
This year more than 2000 gifts were donated and, as of yesterday afternoon, about 80% had been distributed to needy families.
Volunteers at St Vincent de Paul have also been experiencing an end of year rush with one of the busiest Christmas periods for a number of years.
“We’ve had some wonderful donations and some beautiful toys,” St Vincent de Paul regional president Angela Vicenzotti said.
Mrs Vicenzotti said a majority of the people the organisation helped with food vouchers and gifts this year was families with children.
“They seem grateful and happy that Christmas will be a bit better when they leave,” she said.
Mrs Vicenzotti said St Vincent de Paul would not be able to make others Christmases better without the support of the community.
“I’d just like to give them all a big thankful hug,” she said.
Mr Osborne had a similar message for all those who donated and reminded those who had not donated that there was still time to contribute to the Mayor’s Appeal at any Wide Bay Australia branch or any Bundaberg Regional Council office.
Mr Osborne said the Tom Quinn Centre would shut down between Christmas and New Year but plans were already in place for fundraising in 2010.