DIG DEEP: South Burnett UnitingCare and the Kingaroy Uniting Church will be collecting donations for their 2018 Christmas Appeal over the next two weeks inside Kingaroy Shopping World. From left to right: Kingaroy Uniting Church's Susan Mortimer, with Kirsty Cauley and Allana Trappett from South Burnett UnitingCare.
DIG DEEP: South Burnett UnitingCare and the Kingaroy Uniting Church will be collecting donations for their 2018 Christmas Appeal over the next two weeks inside Kingaroy Shopping World. From left to right: Kingaroy Uniting Church's Susan Mortimer, with Kirsty Cauley and Allana Trappett from South Burnett UnitingCare. Kate McCormack

South Burnett charities unite for those in need

THE GIFT giving season is almost here but unfortunately for many South Burnett families, 2018 will not been the most bountiful year.

South Burnett UnitingCare and Kingaroy Uniting Church are collecting donations for this year's Christmas appeal to provide support for the most vulnerable people and families in the region.

Both organisations will be setting up shop inside Kingaroy Shoppingworld over the next two weeks in an attempt to raise much needed funds for local families who receive support from both charities.

Collection coordinator, Susan Mortimer, said it was a chance to help those in need.

"We are asking for cash as we will then purchase vouchers from local businesses to enable the families to buy some special food items for the Christmas and New Year period but we also have a shopping list with suggestions for people who would prefer to donate particular items,” collection coordinator, Susan Mortimer said.

"The reason we are encouraging cash donations is because we are aware of the different tastes and needs of our families. We feel that sometimes being able to choose can be reassuring,” Mrs Mortimer said.

2018 has been a particularly challenging year for the South Burnett community with residents suffering through weather extremes including the ongoing drought as well as the October storms.

UnitingCare employee, Kirsty Cauley said people were really feeling the pinch this season.

"We used to see an influx of families and individuals seeking support at Christmas time, but now families are seeking help right throughout the year,” Miss Cauley said.

"Between the Christmas period and the back to school rush, families in the region really struggle to keep up financially.”

Mrs Mortimer stressed how important every donation was, no matter how small, and mentioned just how special a good Christmas meal could be to a family doing it tough.

"Someone once mentioned to me a child will appreciate a small gift or toy for a while, but the memory of a filling Christmas lunch will stay with them for much, much longer,” she said.

For many community members, the Christmas and New Year period can be a particular challenging time with many charities and support networks shutting down for the holidays.

The Homeless Hotline is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week phone information and referral service for people who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of homelessness.

To contact the Homeless Hotline call 1800 474 753.

The Kingaroy Uniting Church and South Burnett UnitingCare stall will be set up beside Strand Bags for the rest of this week, and beside Donut King all throughout next week.

All proceeds raised over the next two weeks will be donated to South Burnett UnitingCare clients throughout the 2018 Christmas period.

Representatives from both organisations will be manning the stall from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday and from 9am-12pm on Saturdays.

South Burnett

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