The Salvation Army Call For Donations to Meet Xmas Demand

Marie Eather, Salvation Army pastor Jeanette van Gaalen and Andrew van Gaalen look at donations coming in for families.


MARIE Eather, Administration Assistant at the Salvation Army at Coffs Harbour, is used to being busy at this time of year as the charity prepares to help out families in need at Christmas and over the holiday season.

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For the last fourteen years Mrs Eather has worked on the Adopt A Family campaign, which is not running this year, however the charity is amongst several in the area desperately looking for donations to meet the demand.

Mrs Eather said, “The need is a lot greater this year.

“Certain parts of the community especially families and anyone with kids are feeling the impact of the fires, floods and COVID-19.

“They are finding it really difficult.”

She told News Of The Area that rental stress in particular was predominant in the requests for help.

A small amount of funding is available and shared with the Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Nambucca offices but the demand far exceeds that.

“The funding is not much and a lot of people are missing out.

“Rental stress in particular is a big thing here.

“We have an enormous amount of phone calls on rental stress and we simply cant cater for the demand,” she said.

Some of the other reasons for the surge in demand this year according to Mrs Eather are businesses closing down due to the fires, job loss, family breakdown and substance abuse.

Incredibly she has also had two families that have spent all their Christmas money on medical bills and transport of sick children to Westmead Hospital.

“Sadly these families have faced costly medical expenses and had to use all their Christmas money,” she said.

Despite no official funding for Adopt A Family or campaigning Mrs Eather said people can still call her and ask to donate for a specific family and she can provide the children’s ages and so on.

“That would be wonderful and they can bring anything up to our church that they want to such as toys, gift vouchers snd tinned and stored food that is non perishable.”

Her current list of families exceeds forty and includes some large families with six or more children.

The address for donations is 40 Mastracolas Road and she asks if donors can bring items preferably by December 16.


By Sandra MOON

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