GIFT OF GIVING: Mayor Kerry Hayes and Emerald Neighbourhood Centre representatives with Linking Alms hampers.
GIFT OF GIVING: Mayor Kerry Hayes and Emerald Neighbourhood Centre representatives with Linking Alms hampers.

Community Christmas appeal in full swing

FAMILIES in hardship will be given a leg up this Christmas, thanks to the charitable work of a local organisation.

The Emerald Neighbourhood Centre is now running its annual Linking Alms for Christmas appeal, which was first implemented in 1998.

The scheme involves gathering goods to distribute in hampers to anyone in need.

Various groups make contributions, and on Monday the centre received a $1,500 cheque from council to assist with its project.

Neighbourhood Centre director Jeanelle Horn said the end-of-year months put a strain on families.

“This time of year in particular is often challenging for so many people,” she said.

“Linking Alms was started off by the community and churches coming together trying to support families or individuals who ae experiencing hardships at Christmas.

“We generate interest in the community so we can make hampers and give gifts to families in need.”

Ms Horn said the needy comprised many groups of people.

“It can be health, financial hardship, the unemployed or the homeless.

“There’s lots of families at the moment in need because their rents have gone up.”

Council contributed to the appeal to help spread the Christmas spirit across town.
Council contributed to the appeal to help spread the Christmas spirit across town.

Mayor Kerry Hayes said Christmas was a time to support one another.

“This time of the year always tends to be a little bit stressful.

“People start to have expectations about Christmas and sometimes that means that people just don’t have enough to go round.

“We’re all for making sure these sorts of groups get some help and that means our staff and our community are all going to put in something if they can afford to spare it. We’re a very generous community.”

Visit the Neighbourhood Centre at 17 Yamala Street, Emerald, or phone (07) 4982 1696.


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