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Help vinnies help those in need this christmas

Colin Rose, Bernice Courtney, Maureen Pontin and Pip Fawcett are encouraging locals to donate to Vinnies’ annual Christmas Appeal

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Help vinnies help those in need this christmas

St Vincent de Paul Caloundra launches its Christmas appeal.

With Christmas just around the corner, it can be a difficult time for Sunshine Coast locals struggling financially, especially to feed the family or put gifts under the tree.

This year, the team from St Vincent de Paul Caloundra is again running a Christmas Appeal, asking the community to donate items to help make hampers for those in need.

Our Lady of Good Counsel Caloundra Vinnies vice president Maureen Pontin says the difference these hampers make to the local community is priceless.

“We collect hampers every year and give them to people who are really struggling,” Ms Pontin says. “You just don’t believe the smile on most of their faces; they are quite surprised, especially when they see [the hamper], they get a bit of a tear in their eye.”

Ms Pontin says last year they gave out close to 100 hampers and hope, despite the challenges of 2020, those who can will donate non-perishable grocery items and treats. Vinnies then bundles packs suitable for families, couples or singles.Caloundra’s Community Branch of Bendigo Bank backs the cause annually, with a $1000 donation to help boost the hampers.

Ms Pontin says this year, they hope to put that money towards Kmart vouchers. “We are so thrilled the way [Bendigo Bank] help every year,” she says.

Chair of the branch, Colin Rose, says it is a commitment they will continue.

“We try to provide a $1000 donation, which helps them to either purchase some of those goodies, or as they have suggested this time, to perhaps purchase some vouchers that will enable some of the families they are connected with to be given gift cards for children that may not otherwise see gifts.”

Caloundra’s Bendigo Bank is also a collection point for locals to donate items.

“We do have a box and we encourage people to bring in their goodies and non-perishables,” branch manager Pip Fawcett says. “It’s really important and special to collaborate at Christmas time, along with the wonderful St Vinnies, to help people in need.

“For the last five years I have gone around to one of the lady’s houses and helped – I think last year we packed 40 hampers.”

Locals can bring donation to the branch at 99 Bulcock Street until December 18.

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