A Sunshine Coast neighbourhood centre has issued a plea for local residents to help make Christmas a little brighter for disadvantaged Sunshine Coast families.
The Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre has officially launched its 2023 ‘Adopt a Family’ Christmas appeal, which compiles food and gifts for Sunshine Coast families impacted by homelessness, domestic and family violence, poverty, and health issues.
Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre CEO Michael Henning said the dramatic increase in the cost of living across Australia had contributed to a spike in the number of families struggling to make ends meet.
“New research from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicates the cost of living for working Australians has skyrocketed by a staggering nine per cent in the last year*,” Mr Henning said.
“While many of us are feeling the pinch, the sad reality is that some Sunshine Coast families are now unable to afford daily meals, let alone Christmas celebrations.
“It is heartbreaking to think that hundreds of local children could spend Christmas with an empty stomach and without a present to open, so we’re determined to lend a helping hand to every family in need.”
How to help Sunshine Coast families in need this Christmas
Mr Henning said Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre welcomed donations of gifts and non-perishable food and encouraged community members in a position to help to drop items to the centre on 15 December.
“No donation is too small, and all items will be gratefully received. Even a simple packet of pasta can go a long way, so supporters have the option to donate a single food item or gift if that suits their budget, or they can go as far as supporting an entire family.”
Sunshine Coast dredging and civil construction business Hall Contracting has led the charge in supporting the appeal, having donated more than $5,000 worth of food and toys to kick off the campaign.
Hall Contracting CEO & Director Cameron Hall said the company was proud to support such a worthy cause and had compiled 15 hampers as well as a range of toys, bikes, books, electronics, and sporting equipment.
“The hampers contain some special treats for Christmas day as well as a range of everyday staples to help Sunshine Coast families put food on the table over the coming weeks,” Mr Hall said.
“While we’ve purchased some gifts for all ages, we made a concerted effort to select plenty of items for teenagers, as donations for this cohort are traditionally somewhat limited compared to their younger counterparts.
“We’ve also put the call out to our staff to donate gifts if they are in a position to do so.
“Many of our team members are mums and dads themselves, so they know just how much joy some festive cheer can bring to a child’s life.”
Community members wishing to donate to the 2023 ‘Adopt a Family’ Christmas appeal can drop their donations to the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre at 2 Fifth Ave, Maroochydore on 15 December.
Important things to note
- Please do not wrap gifts. This will allow the Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre to direct each one to the most appropriate recipient.
- Please only donate new items.
- Please do not donate toy weapons or items that promote violence of any kind, as children who have experienced family violence may find these items distressing.
Struggling for gift ideas? The following items would be gratefully received:
- Non-perishable food
- Pasta sauce
- Curry sauces
- Taco kits
- Canned fruit and vegetables
- Long-life milk and custard
- Christmas cake
- Mince pies
- Spreads e.g. Vegemite, jam or peanut butter
- Soft drink or juice
- Toys and books
- Picture books and novels
- Lego, Meccano, Mega Blocks
- Art, craft and science kits
- Musical instruments
- Puzzles and board games
- Toy cars
- Plush toys
- Educational toys
- Slime and kinetic sand
- Outdoor/exercise equipment
- Sporting equipment e.g. balls, cricket set
- Skateboards, scooters and helmets
- Body boards
- Gym equipment
- Beach towels
- Jewellery and hair clips
- Nail polish and nail art kits
- Perfume and bath bombs
- Baseball caps
- Handbags, backpacks and wallets
- Portable Bluetooth speakers
- MP3 players
- Hair straighteners
- Gift vouchers
- Cinema gift cards
- Sporting store gift cards
- Clothing store gift cards
- Experience gift cards e.g. Aqua Park
- App Store/iTunes gift cards
- Google Play/Spotify gift cards
- Shopping centre gift cards
- Department store gift cards
- Visa/Mastercard gift cards
Please do NOT donate
- Toy swords, guns, slingshots or water pistols
- War toys e.g. soldiers and tanks
- Combat-focused action figures
- Violent video games
- Anything that endorses violence or aggression
* Statistic source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Selected Living Cost Indexes, Australia, https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/economy/price-indexes-and-inflation/selected-living-cost-indexes-australia/latest-release#annual-living-costs
About Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre
The Maroochy Neighbourhood Centre offers a range of services to the community, including family support, an urban farm, a playgroup; free meals, employment, drug and alcohol counselling, mental health check-ups and more.
It services the area between Kawana, Coolum and the Bruce Highway and has provided support to 213 children and 144 parents since the beginning of 2023.
Servicing Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and beyond, Kids on the Coast is an online guide for parents with kids events, attractions & things to do with kids, schools and education, school holiday guides, health & wellbeing for families, parenting and lifestyle news located on Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast & Brisbane, QLD.