SANTA’S little helpers are on the march in Coffs Harbour preparing Christmas goodies for our needy families.
A trip to the Salvation Army on Mastracolas Road reveals a small army of volunteers working around the clock assembling food and gift parcels in time for Christmas Day.
It’s one of the busiest times of year for the Salvos and other agencies as they reach out to those who are doing it tough.
“Coffs Harbour is a casual and part-time work city and rents are horrific here,” said Di Walters, the Salvation Army’s welfare and community centre manager.
“I’ve got people coming in and telling us their rents have gone up some times by $30 a week.
“There are certainly a lot of needy families in Coffs Harbour.”
The Advocate has led the charity charge this Christmas by working alongside the Salvos, LifeHouse Care, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Lifeline with the successful Adopt-A-Family program, now in its seventh year.
Members of the community are asked to choose a family in need and put together a hamper of food and toys which are then allocated as gifts to the nominated families.
This year a whopping 205 Coffs Coast families will have something under their Christmas trees as a result of this appeal.
The Salvation Army has also arranged for the allocation of food voucher cards for as many as 267 families and there are another 50 on the waiting list, while gift cards to the value of $50 are available for some 120 teenagers.
“We are also getting together food hampers for Christmas,” Mrs Walters said.
“I absolutely love what I do here – I was born to do it.
“Almost everything you see here has been donated.”