Time to reach out to oth­ers

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Westernopinion - Denise Cahill - Edi­tor

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.

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