Do­ing it tough this Christ­mas

Mansfield Courier - - Opinions / People -

THE chal­lenge of fi­nan­cial hard­ship and so­cial iso­la­tion at Christ­mas is more com­plex and chal­leng­ing this year as The Sal­va­tion Army re­sponds to the poverty in our cities and the dev­as­tat­ing im­pact of a rolling bush­fire cri­sis, and the re­lent­less grip the worst drought in liv­ing mem­ory has on ru­ral and re­gional Aus­tralia.

For farm­ers in drought af­fected ar­eas, Christ­mas will be a day like most oth­ers, with con­di­tions re­strict­ing them from tak­ing a day off.

There won’t be much to stop for any­way, with many fam­i­lies in se­vere fi­nan­cial need.

Fire­fight­ers across Aus­tralia, but par­tic­u­larly through­out New South Wales and parts of Queens­land, will spend Christ­mas fight­ing out-of-con­trol bush­fires.

Some peo­ple liv­ing in bush­fire af­fected ar­eas still won’t have ac­cess to their homes.

Many in our cities and towns will be alone on Christ­mas Day, with fam­ily break­down and so­cial iso­la­tion lead­ing to lone­li­ness and de­spair.

Christ­mas is the busiest time of the year for The Sal­va­tion Army.

We dis­trib­ute half a mil­lion gifts and toys, as­sist 300,000 peo­ple and serve more than 100,000 meals.

We’ll also be ac­tive in evac­u­a­tion cen­tres in fire-af­fected ar­eas, and in dis­tribut­ing drought re­lief and Christ­mas cheer in ru­ral and re­gional ar­eas af­fected by drought.

It is our priv­i­lege to bring joy and hope at this time of year to fam­i­lies and in­di­vid­u­als ex­pe­ri­enc­ing hard­ship and de­spair.

But we can only do it with the help of gen­er­ous Aus­tralians who sup­port us, to sup­port oth­ers.

So, this Christ­mas, let’s re­mem­ber those do­ing it tough.

By do­nat­ing just $29 to The Sal­va­tion Army’s Christ­mas Ap­peal, you can help put a pre­sent un­der the tree and food on the ta­ble, bring­ing hope where it’s needed most for some­one in need of a hand up.

For more visit sal­va­tion­ or call 137 258.

Lieut Colonel Neil Ven­ables, The Sal­va­tion Army

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