HUNDREDS of country South Australians received a much-needed dose of Christmas cheer this festive season thanks to strong support for annual community appeals.

Despite ongoing increases to the cost of living, the generosity of our country communities shone through as food, toys, vouchers and other goods were distributed to people in need throughout the Murraylands, Riverland and Limestone Coast.

Over 700 toys and 510 hampers were handed out as part of the Riverland Christmas Appeal, with ac.care staff volunteering at distribution days held throughout the region.

The community also rallied behind the annual Murraylands Christmas Appeal, held in conjunction with The Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul and the Rural City of Murray Bridge.

The combined effort results in 180 applicants receiving support, including 140 Murraylands families who received toys as well as vouchers.

Meanwhile, the Mount Gambier Community Centre’s Christmas Cheer initiative received generous support from diverse donors that benefited over 250 applicants seeking help over the festive season.

A significant donation of $25,000 as part of the Mount Gambier Mayor’s Christmas Appeal underpinned the annual initiative, which also received support from local businesses, school, churches, charity partner Good360, other organisations and the Limestone Coast community.

This donation made a meaningful impact to the support provided to over 250 applicants over the festive period, which included food, vouchers and gifts.

a group of women in clothing
SHARING THE JOY: ac.care homelessness client support workers Bec Hogg and Deanne Swift, Community Connections support worker Kimberly Lucas, client services officer Kylie Kilsby and Linker project officer Jennifer Doody were proud to deliver the annual Christmas Cheer program at Mount Gambier Community Centre in the lead-up to Christmas, supporting over 250 applicants that received food, vouchers and gifts.

WATCH OUR 2023 CHRISTMAS CHEER VIDEO MESSAGE HERE

“Christmas can be a difficult period for families who struggle on a daily basis to provide the most basic needs for their children so this additional support helps to ease the pressures experienced by these households,” ac.care Christmas Cheer coordinator Deanne Swift said.

“We handed out over 150 bags of toys and had all staff on board, running around trying to help anyone who came in,” Deanne said.

“Everyone was just so grateful and we saw a lot of tears and gave a lot of hugs.

“Thank you to the community for donating to the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal or direct to ac.care, it helped so much.

“Every dollar went out to the community to help those who needed our assistance this year.”

Among those to receive support from the Christmas Cheer initiative were Rob and Jo, who were looking forward to Christmas celebrations with their extended family.

“We have a blended family so we celebrate Christmas over two days with children and grandchildren,” Rob said.

“That’s two Christmas dinners and two Christmas lunches so this extra support helps us a lot with buying groceries,” he said.

Jo said the inclusion of toys, biscuits and other items would help add to the special time.

“We have all the main gifts and food sorted but now we have some stocking fillers to help out, plus the vouchers will help get us through the few weeks over Christmas,” she said.

“This definitely makes Christmas so much easier for us.

“We are so grateful, they’re wonderful down here (at the community centre).”

ac.care is grateful for the contributions made by our country communities to help us support people experiencing hardship. If you would like to learn more about how you can support ac.care, visit our donate page or contact us.

TIS THE SEASON: ac.care Community Connections regional manager Sue Watt and Limestone Coast homelessness service manager Kelly McGuinness manned the BBQ and handed out lollies as part of the Christmas Cheer distribution day.

ac.care Locations

ac.care is a dynamic organisation servicing the South Australian communities the Limestone Coast, Murraylands, Riverland, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Our mission is for all country people to have a safe home, enough money to live on and strong, positive relationships.

Please find our service locations here or use our contact form to request a service.

Mount Gambier
Head office and Foster Care

70-72 White Avenue Mount Gambier, SA 5290
PO Box 1842 Mount Gambier SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Community Centre

22-24 Ferrers Street Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Family Relationship Centre

1 Helen Street (cnr Bay Road) Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday
9am to 5pm
Tuesday
10:30am to 5pm
Wednesday
9am to 5pm
Thursday
9am to 5pm
Later by appt
Friday
9am to 5pm

Berri Community Centre
Servicing the Riverland

5 Kealley Street Street Berri, SA 5343
PO Box 1345 Berri, SA 5343
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Murraylands Centre
Servicing the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula

29 Bridge Street Murray Bridge, SA 5253
PO Box 2090 Murray Bridge, SA 5253
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

Millicent
Community Centre

57-59 George Street Millicent, SA 5280
PO Box 378 Millicent, SA 5280
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
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