LIMESTONE Coast charity ac.care has welcomed support from across the community to spread some festive cheer to those who need it most this Christmas.
“Organisations such as ours rely on the support of the communities in which we work so we can reach out to those struggling in country areas,” ac.care chief executive Shane Maddocks said.
“While we see and share the hardships faced by individuals and families and work together with these people to help improve their situation, we are also inspired by the generous businesses, service clubs and other supporters who have donated to our Christmas appeals.”
He said it was wonderful to see the list of donors this Christmas broadening to school, social and work groups deciding to give to others as the festive season nears.
“We recognise many businesses and individuals which have long been key supporters of our work have faced uncertainty and pressures like never before, but it is inspiring to see so much generosity remains across the community,” he said.
Mr Maddocks said the approaching end of 2020 also prompted a time of reflection on a year of unprecedented challenges after the diverse and devastating impacts of COVID-19 on country communities.
UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION: Mount Gambier’s Pine Tree Quilters recently donated 100 Santa sacks created by members to assist with ac.care’s distribution of donated toys at the Mount Gambier Community Centre. Group representatives Kaye Dalgarno and Ohna Green delivered the donation to ac.care’s Rebecca Haggett. The donation followed the creative group donating 150 reusable face masks earlier in the year to help ac.care maintain service delivery in line with COVID-19 restrictions, along with quilts for young people in care.
“I’m sure the festive season will be a time when many people find the family and social connections they have missed over recent months due to COVID-19 restrictions mean more than ever,” he said.
“But sadly, it is also a time of year when it is clear to our staff on the frontline of service delivery that the challenges we were founded to help address continue to take a growing toll on individuals.
“This ranges from vulnerable people being caught in a poverty trap, through to individuals facing alienation and isolation, families affected by separation or young people affected by serious welfare concerns.”
Mr Maddocks said ac.care’s services continued to be stretched as Christmas approached and people sought relief from pressures they were facing, whether struggling to decide between paying essential bills or providing a special Christmas lunch or gifts for their children, or those wondering who they will turn to when they find themselves alone at a time when others celebrate togetherness.
“Support from the community helps ac.care continue its vital work in areas such as caring for children in foster and residential care, delivering innovative homelessness programs and offering support for children and families,” he said.
“Together we make a difference, but that takes a community effort and we hope to continue to work with you and many others as we evolve and expand our service delivery at a time when country South Australians need us more than ever.”
He said ac.care needed support throughout the year to expand its capacity to support people in the community beyond Christmas and urged supporters to consider becoming regular donors to ac.care by visiting accare.org.au/donate to support their local charity.
“We wish you all a merry Christmas and safe new year, urge you to think of those less fortunate at this time of 2020 and look forward to continuing to work to ensure country people have a safe home, enough money to live on and strong, positive relationships in 2021,” he said.
Supporters can also keep up-to-date on ac.care news by following the organisation’s Facebook page.
ac.care can be contacted on 1300 ACCARE (1300 22 22 73).
BROAD SUPPORT: The Tenison Woods College community was among many supporters to donate gifts to ac.care’s Christmas appeal to provide relief to individuals and families struggling this festive season. Items donated to ac.care will be included in hampers provided to people in the community who have registered for support from ac.care this Christmas.