Give a gift this fes­tive sea­son

The Cobram Courier - - NEWS - By Pa­trick Tansey

When look­ing for a cause to sup­port this year for its an­nual Christ­mas giv­ing tree, Bendigo Bank Co­bram set­tled on a de­ci­sion rea­son­ably quickly, not hav­ing to look far for in­spi­ra­tion.

Bendigo Bank cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship of­fi­cer Lizette Mezen­berg said each year the bank chose a dif­fer­ent cause to sup­port, and this year the choice seemed ob­vi­ous — drought-af­fected farm­ers.

‘‘We ap­proached Ba­rooga Lions Club to part­ner with Need for Feed, which is do­ing a hay run on De­cem­ber 18 to droughtaf­fected ar­eas,’’ Ms Mezen­berg said.

‘‘Any­one, even peo­ple who aren’t cus­tomers here, are wel­come to drop in to do­nate un­wrapped gifts and non­per­ish­able food items.’’

Ms Mezen­berg said the giv­ing tree had al­ways been sup­ported by the com­mu­nity and she was hope­ful for more of the same this year.

‘‘I re­mem­ber there was one year we didn’t do it and peo­ple were com­ing in won­der­ing what was go­ing on be­cause they had come to re­ally love the idea of be­ing able to give back to peo­ple in need over the Christ­mas pe­riod,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve had peo­ple come in with bags of goods . . . ev­ery­one is al­ways so gen­er­ous.’’

Linda Ry­der from Ba­rooga Lions Club and Need for Feed said it was great to re­ceive so much sup­port from com­mu­nity busi­nesses lead­ing up to Christ­mas.

‘‘I went in the other day to say thank you and to have a look at the tree and there is al­ready a num­ber of gifts, de­spite it be­ing a month un­til Christ­mas, which just goes to show peo­ple here re­ally do care and are pre­pared to part with their own money to sup­port our farm­ers,’’ she said.

Sup­port cause: Char­maine Wid­di­son and Lizette Mezen­berg from Bendigo Bank are en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to sup­port the bank’s an­nual giv­ing tree.

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