With Christmas just around the corner, representatives from the Redcliffe Care Network are asking residents to dig deep to help provide food and gifts for people in need.
The Redcliffe Care Network, which is made up of several services including The Breakfast Club, Encircle Community Services, Redcliffe Mums, Redcliffe Uniting, The Salvation Army and Band of Brothers, have been distributing hampers and presents for years to people who might otherwise go without.
Last year they handed out more than 400 hampers to struggling families and individuals, but due to the recent floods, rental crisis and the increase in the cost of living, they are expecting that number to rise significantly in 2022.
Michelle Gilchrist from The Breakfast Club says it has been a difficult year for a lot of people, but they are determined to not leave anyone out from experiencing the joy of Christmas.
“We need to pull together as a community and ensure no one goes hungry this Christmas,” Michelle says.
“There are a lot of people in our community that are in crisis, and we know that we aren’t the only community feeling this, but nobody should go hungry, and every child should have at least one present to open on Christmas Day.
“It doesn’t matter if you can only donate a few cans of baked beans, because everything that is donated will go to people in need.”
Encircle Community Services Neighbourhoods Coordinator Chrissie Kelly says the appeal will bring joy to so many people.
"The Redcliffe Care Network's annual Christmas Hamper Drive helps us bring a little more joy to what is often a very challenging, stressful and lonely time for many members of Redcliffe Peninsula community," Chrissie says.
"Housing, mental health, domestic and family violence, and the increasing cost of living are taking its toll on many local families and individuals, and Christmas can exacerbate this stress.
"In the seven years of our operation, we've seen the demand for our Christmas Hamper Drive grow significantly, and we're needing more donations to keep up with need.
"We will happily accept any new toy for a child, but last year we observed a need for more unisex gifts for young people aged 10-16.
"Games, sporting equipment, books, art and craft material and wearable technology are just some ideas for those wanting to know what will get a lot of use."
The appeal is also supported by Moreton Bay Regional Council.
What you can donate
Michelle is hoping to have enough donations for a family or individual to enjoy a lovely Christmas meal, as well as those few days afterwards.
“We are in need of essential non-perishable items that families and individuals can use to make and prepare meals,” Michelle says.
“Not only will these items be used by families on Christmas Day, but it will also sustain them in the days after.
“We will add some perishable items that will be donated to us to go into the hampers when they are ready.”
If you are in a position to help, these are some of the items needed for the Redcliffe Care Network food appeal:
- Tinned stews
- Tinned soups
- Tinned meat
- Tinned fish (large)
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned fruit
- Pasta and rice
- Pasta sauce
- Pasta meal mixes (dry)
- Long life milk
- Long life custard
- Cereal (medium size)
- Spreads like Vegemite, peanut butter and jam
- Pancake mix or cake mix
- Juice (1 litre cartons)
- Soft drinks
- Nuts, lollies and chips
The Redcliffe Care Network kindly ask that no chocolate is donated due to storage issues.
Donations can be dropped off every Tuesday and Thursday between 9am-1.30pm at Pensioner Hall on the corner of Oxley Avenue and Portwood Streets.
For more information, phone 0467 811 380.
Please drop off your donations by December 15.
Toys for all ages
Throughout the appeal, The Redcliffe Care Network will also be collecting donations of toys that can be given to boys and girls from birth right up to the age of 18.
Samantha Cuthbertson from The Salvation Army will be helping to look after the gifts and ensure they bring a smile to kids in need.
“The gifts get donated to The Salvation Army and we sort them into the various age groups and then bring them down for distribution,” Samantha says.
“We need gifts for all ages right from babies up to 18 years old.
“There is always a gap from the hard to buy 10-18-year-olds, so we are really asking for donations specifically in that age bracket.”
Toys can be dropped off at The Salvation Army Redcliffe, which is located at 64 Ashmole Road.
Donations that are also given as part of the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal will also help local families in need.
How to register if you’re in need
If you are a family or an individual that is worried about putting food on your table or having a gift to unwrap, you can reach out to one of the services in the network and register your interest in receiving a hamper.
Registrations are now open, and all registrations must be submitted by December 14.
There will be one hamper provided per family/address.
A new sculpture that pays tribute to Bongaree, the first known Aboriginal person to circumnavigate Australia and contribute to the mapping of the Australian coastline, has been unveiled outside the Bribie Island Seaside Museum **FREE TO READ**
The Redcliffe Christmas Twilight Markets are returning to the Redcliffe foreshore with the best eats, beats and treats the peninsula has to offer. Here's the details
Step into the colourful world of celebrated artist Martin Edge this summer at Pine Rivers Art Gallery. Playful and interactive elements feature in the exhibition. **FREE TO READ**
A new community garden that aims to inspire people to grow their own healthy food in an urban environment will call Beachmere home. Located next to the Beachmere Hub, the garden is the result of many years of planning and fundraising. See the pictures here