Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion - Denise S. Cahill - ed­i­tor

THE Big Is­sue ven­dors ar­rived at Mis­sion Aus­tralia’s an­nual gift-wrap­ping morn­ing early. Wear­ing their hi-vis shirts, they set up ta­bles and of­fered help to the VIP wrap­pers. Mis­sion Aus­tralia this year has teamed up with other or­gan­i­sa­tions such as The Big Is­sue to help boost their pro­files. At Christ­mas, ev­ery char­ity strug­gles to meet de­mand so col­lab­o­ra­tion is even more im­por­tant. Vol­un­teers for Mis­sion Aus­tralia’s Christ­mas Lunch in the Park come from all walks of life and var­i­ous or­gan­i­sa­tions. The story be­hind ev­ery lunch guest is also dif­fer­ent. Mis­sion Aus­tralia state di­rec­tor Amanda Hunt spoke to a woman last year who ar­rived with her young son. Her older son had died that year and she had been dread­ing Christ­mas Day... un­til she stum­bled across Mis­sion Aus­tralia’s tent. An­other woman was es­cap­ing an abu­sive part­ner. She was un­aware of the ser­vices avail­able in the city. Her de­ci­sion to en­ter the CLIP mar­quee gave her a Christ­mas meal and ad­vice on where she could stay for the night. The Christ­mas spirit is end­less at Mis­sion Aus­tralia.

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