Cel­e­brat­ing to­gether

Cre­at­ing com­mu­nity event to en­joy Christ­mas spirit

Maroochy Weekly - - NEWS - Danielle Ford [email protected]­news.com.au

A RAN­DOM con­ver­sa­tion was what in­spired Han­nah Smith to open her home up to the com­mu­nity for Christ­mas.

“In 2016 I was walk­ing around my neigh­bour­hood and sat by a pond and an el­derly gen­tle­man sat next to me and we started talking,” she said.

“He men­tioned that his wife passed away a few months prior and that it would be his first Christ­mas with­out her.

“He also men­tioned his chil­dren and grand­chil­dren live on the Gold Coast and never talk about vis­it­ing dur­ing the fes­tive sea­son.

“Hear­ing this broke my heart to know there’s peo­ple spend­ing Christ­mas on there own.

“You never think about it at Christ­mas time, you ex­pect peo­ple to be sur­rounded by fam­ily and friends; un­for­tu­nately each year I re­alise this isn’t true.”

Turn­ing her garage into a Christ­mas won­der­land, Han­nah spent Christ­mas Day that year with 17 peo­ple who were look­ing for a way to cel­e­brate the day.

“It was a great day and I even had met with 10 peo­ple on Boxing Day, for a beach walk, who weren’t able to make the Christ­mas event,” she said.

Af­ter hav­ing to can­cel last year’s com­mu­nity Christ­mas, Han­nah is throw­ing another one, this time at Mooloolaba Beach.

“I sup­ply ev­ery­thing; from food, drink, games, even lit­tle gifts for chil­dren I know who are com­ing, I’m also plan­ning on Santa drop­ping by,” she said.

The self-con­fessed Christ­mas fa­natic said she has been over­whelmed but the sup­port of the com­mu­nity, with busi­nesses and peo­ple of­fer­ing prod­ucts and time.

“It’s beyond heart­warm­ing to see so many peo­ple want­ing to be apart of some­thing amaz­ing,” she said.

“The lone­li­ness of see­ing fam­i­lies and friends to­gether, whilst sit­ting at home on your own on a fes­tive day would be in­com­pre­hen­si­ble.

“It’s im­por­tant for peo­ple to know there’s peo­ple out here who truly care and would work so hard just to see a smile on another per­sons face.

“I’m of­fer­ing an open in­vi­ta­tion to ev­ery­one from strug­gling fam­i­lies, sin­gles, wi­d­ows to peo­ple who just wish to meet and in­spire new peo­ple.”

Fes­tiv­i­ties will start at 9am on Christ­mas Day at the main bar­be­cue area at Mooloolaba Beach. To reg­is­ter at­ten­dance, email han­na­hef­[email protected]

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

GIFT OF GIV­ING: Han­nah Smith is shar­ing the Christ­mas Spirit around.

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