On Wednesday 13 December, Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) donated an amazing $2,000 worth of children’s Christmas presents, all neatly wrapped and labelled, to be given to families in need this holiday season. Three large hampers of non-perishable Christmas food items were also donated by students from Marymede Catholic College to help these families celebrate Christmas day.
The wide range of gifts are currently in the process of being given to the vulnerable families supported by CatholicCare who are struggling to provide even the basic needs for this Christmas. Some of the families are asylum seekers and refugees who have recently moved to Australia.
One family who has received CCI’s Christmas presents has two young children - one with significant special needs - and has only a limited income from casual work, meaning they had no means to provide presents this year. You can only imagine the struggles that families like this have experienced (and continue to experience daily), and so while a Christmas present may not seem like much it can really mean the world; particularly for the children involved.
Another family who have benefited from the donations of food and presents is a family of 11 from Cambodia. The primary care-taker, the father, is currently looking after his nine children alone and he cannot read, write or speak English. Whilst the parents are struggling financially, the children have also been struggling with their school work. CatholicCare is working with this family and has been able to organise tutoring for all of the children, but the donations from CCI and Marymede Catholic College mean that the family can enjoy Christmas day with presents and delicious food; something that would have been out of reach without help.
Christmas is a time that many of us may take for granted - yes, we do get excited for the food, the company, and the presents, and for some of us it may also be a stressful period - but a Christmas without the food, company and presents doesn’t really feel like Christmas at all. CCI and Marymede's heart-warming donations will help vulnerable families to forget their struggles for a moment, as they open presents and fill their stomachs just like the rest of us.
Above: Catholic Church Insurance staff Ellie and Georgie with CatholicCare's Senior Manager Lisa Foley.