Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By DENISE S. CAHILL

DAVID Kirby’s face lit up with a smile when asked about his plans for Christ­mas Day. “Enjoy my­self,” Mr Kirby said. But be­fore the fun can be­gin, The Big Is­sue ven­dor of eight years is help­ing to spread the word about Mis­sion Aus­tralia’s Christ­mas Lunch in the Park (CLIP).

Mr Kirby, who sells The Big Is­sue on Rokeby Road out­side the Re­gal The­atre, said he was happy to help Mis­sion Aus­tralia, which is based in Os­borne Park.

Mis­sion Aus­tralia State di­rec­tor Amanda Hunt said the or­gan­i­sa­tion had in­vited sev­eral other groups, in­clud­ing The Big Is­sue, to join CLIP this year to help boost their pro­files.

“Our or­gan­i­sa­tions need to work to­gether. Be­cause of the eco­nomic cli­mate, it’s dif­fi­cult – we need to join forces so peo­ple who are vul­ner­a­ble don’t fall through the cracks,” Ms Hunt said.

The Su­bi­aco res­i­dent said Mis­sion Aus­tralia was lucky to have es­tab­lished a strong pro­file in Perth and wanted to help other or­gan­i­sa­tions get ex­tra ex­po­sure.

“The Big Is­sue do an ex­tra­or­di­nary job, they’re on the ground do­ing the real work,” Ms Hunt said.

City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaf­fidi was among vol­un­teers wrap­ping presents for CLIP at Mis­sion Aus­tralia’s Drug and Al­co­hol Youth Ser­vice in East Perth last week.

Ms Scaf­fidi said she drove past Welling­ton Square on the way to work ev­ery day and saw first hand the home­less prob­lem Perth faced.

She said there had never been such a tough time and or­gan­i­sa­tions like Mis­sion Aus­tralia were work­ing to im­prove the lives of peo­ple who were strug­gling.

This year, Mis­sion Aus­tralia is call­ing for peo­ple to buy vir­tual gifts on­line, pur­chase meals for peo­ple who will at­tend on Christ­mas Day or spon­sor a ta­ble.

Visit www.christ­maslunchinthep­

David Kirby with copies of the lat­est edi­tion of The Big Is­sue and a few Christ­mas presents.

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