ST VIN­NIES APPEALS FOR HELP

Avon Valley Gazette - - CHRISTMAS 2016 -

THE fes­tive sea­son can be any­thing but merry for peo­ple go­ing through hard times.

The St Vin­cent de Paul So­ci­ety runs its an­nual Christmas Ap­peal so peo­ple in need have some­one to turn to.

So­ci­ety chief ex­ec­u­tive Mark Fitz­patrick said far too many peo­ple were fac­ing a sad Christmas sea­son.

“This has been a par­tic­u­larly hard year with Perth house­holds un­der se­vere fi­nan­cial stress and with record un­em­ploy­ment rates, leav­ing many fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als strug­gling,” he said.

“The num­ber of peo­ple the so­ci­ety has as­sisted with emer­gency re­lief has in­creased by 30 per cent in the past year with a to­tal of 48,748 in­di­vid­u­als re­ceiv­ing as­sis­tance.

“Sin­gle par­ents with chil­dren made up 42.8 per cent of peo­ple seek­ing as­sis­tance, with food the most re­quested item.

“Christmas time pro­vides an­other level of stress to peo­ple who are al­ready strug­gling, often com­pounded by feel­ings of guilt for par­ents who are un­able to pro­vide gifts or a de­cent meal.

“At what should be a time of joy and cel­e­bra­tion, far too many peo­ple face a bleak Christmas and we want to make sure we can help as many peo­ple as we can,”

Last year vol­un­teers at St Vin­cents de­liv­ered more than 2000 ham­pers to peo­ple in need. Do­na­tions can be made by call­ing 13 18 12 or vis­it­ing www. vin­nies. org. au/ christmas ap­peal.

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St Vin­nies vol­un­teers Margery Holm­wood and Neville Mans­field.

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