Masonic Aged Care Hostel staff and residents donating boxes of Christmas cheer to Di Walters of the Salvos.
Masonic Aged Care Hostel staff and residents donating boxes of Christmas cheer to Di Walters of the Salvos. TREVOR VEALE

Salvos thrilled with hampers

WHEN residents and staff of Coffs Harbour’s Masonic Aged Care Hostel presented overflowing Christmas boxes to the Salvation Army’s welfare officer Di Walters this week, it was the culmination of months of planning.

Carol Fitton, the hostel’s care co-ordinator, said residents had prepared and decorated boxes for two Adopt-a-Family appeal families months ago and had been anxiously waiting for the annual advertisements to appear in The Coffs Coast Advocate so they could choose a family and begin selecting and collecting appropriate gifts and food.

“We had a really good response – every year we do this and it gets better every year,” she said.

“We particularly like the fact that we know what family we are collecting for and the children’s ages,” Ms Fitton said

This year The Coffs Coast Advocate’s Adopt-a- Family has proved extremely successful.

Lifehouse Care co-ordinator Carol Sleep said they had received hampers for every family they had nominated for Adopt-a-Family and would have enough left to make up some extra hampers for families who had not been nominated ‘ but who can do with a little help’.

“It’s the best thing the newspaper has done,” Ms Sleep said.

“The community gets involved and has ownership. These are people we have worked with and the community comes on board and it is purely a gift – not something you have to ask for.”

Ms Sleep said people who were not able to make up a hamper were still bringing in food, gifts and ‘Christmassy things’ to contribute because they wanted to participate.

“One family brought in some of their Crisco hamper to share and another family does up bikes from garage sales and brought in a little bike for a six- to eight-year-old girl,” she said.

With school finishing this week, the first hampers were already being delivered to families around the Coffs Coast.



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