Time to reach out to others
ON Christmas Day, 2000 people will fill Wellington Square Park in East Perth for the 41st Mission Australia Christmas Lunch in the Park. Men, women and children will get lunch, a present and, most importantly, company. The guests come from all walks of life and while there’s no doubt they’ll be hungry by lunchtime, a big drawcard is chatting to fellow diners and volunteers. Volunteer Grace Lander says it’s the plight of children and the elderly who break her heart. But the excitement on their faces as they realise the football they unwrapped is just for them, or that a stranger could share a conversation, shines for longer than just Christmas Day. Lifeline WA has one of the biggest and brightest Christmas trees in Perth this year, but there’s a sombre message behind it. The 55,000 lights symbolise the number of calls the service has received this year. At Christmas, someone calls Lifeline every 32 seconds.