THE thought of someone with absolutely nothing to unwrap on Christmas morning is a sad, sobering notion, and the image of parents who cannot consider a Christmas dinner with their children because the cupboards are bare is a wretched vision.
It all seems right out of a Charles Dickens novel, but the fact is, this scenario is alive and all too well today.
An estimated 600,000 Australian children will live in poverty this Christmas, and another 40,000 will be living in out-of-home care and away from their families for a range of reasons.
This is the reason Inverell’s Reverend Jean Bell was not concerned with UnitingCare’s change from the traditional Christmas tree to a large ‘giving box’ just inside the front door of Inverell Target.
“People like opening boxes at Christmas time. It’s all about giving and receiving,” Jean said.
She said Australia-wide donations had fallen off slightly since 2007, so UnitingCare had decided to try something a little different.
“From what other people are saying there may be a little more generosity in the air this year,” Jean said.
“It doesn’t take a lot to bring a bit of delight into someone’s life.
“We make sure that all donated gifts go to local families, and we rely on fellow locals to dig deep so please support our appeal at Target Inverell.”
Jean said it was wonderful that many people buy children’s gifts, but sometimes teenagers and the elderly are lost from view and that is where cash donations can play an important part.
The Giving Box will be available for donations until Christmas Eve, when hopefully it will be full with generosity.