COFFS Harbour businessman, Andrew MacLeod, from MacLeod’s Furniture Court is keen to make sure that kids in the region have something special for Christmas this year.
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He donated over $5000 in gift cards to members of the Coffs Harbour Conference of St Vincent de Paul Society.
“These gift cards will go into re-vamped Christmas hampers,” explained Leon Walsh, President of the St Vincent de Paul Society Conference.
“Andrew MacLeod has donated over the last few years and has been a big supporter of the local Vinnies group,” said Mr Walsh.
With COVID safety in mind there were restrictions placed on donations needing to be stored for three days and storage space became an issue.
Mr Walsh explained, “Due to COVID we have had to rethink our usual process this year.
“We have had to ask for gift cards from donors instead of the usual food and gift items.”
Cecily Foley Regional President and conference member Phil Hartmann are organising and coordinating the Vinnies Christmas Appeal.
“Local volunteers have started putting hampers together.
“They consist of food cards and these gift cards,” said Mr Walsh.
“Mr MacLeod was intent on the items being for children and has been very generous.”
The local Vinnies Christmas Appeal is almost at the distribution stage to deliver hampers to invited families who have been to Vinnies for assistance in the last year or so.
Vinnies says that between COVID-19, the government’s decision to wind back income support payments, unprecedented job losses and economic recession, thousands of households, including those impacted by the pandemic, are unsure how they’ll be able to keep the lights on, let alone put presents under the tree this Christmas.
The St Vincent de Paul Society NSW says support is needed more than ever to help struggling Australian families, including many who have previously never needed assistance.
“Thousands of families are experiencing immense hardship and stress in Australia and this has been made worse by COVID-19. For many that pain is only going to intensify at Christmas,” said Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society NSW.
By Sandra MOON