Countdown to Christmas

28 November 2016

Every family looks forward to Christmas. It is a time of joy, togetherness and celebration.

Presbyterian Support Otago’s Family Works team is preparing to support more than 220 families this Christmas. We are stocking the foodbank, creating Christmas hampers and accepting donations of toys and gifts. It is always inspiring and humbling to receive the many donations our supporters gather at this time of year. The Otago community really shows its true colours at Christmas time.

We are very excited about a new project, conceived by local radio station The Breeze, called ‘Pack the Bus’. Thanks to the support of many Dunedin businesses, on the 2nd December, a full-sized bus will travel through Mosgiel and Dunedin, stopping at shops and schools to collect donations of non-perishable food and new toys, all for our Family Works foodbank. We are very grateful to be the beneficiary of this wonderful initiative. It will make a real difference to families in need this Christmas.

Unfortunately, some families’ circumstances mean that the reality of their Christmas can magnify underlying financial stress and family tension. Our social workers report an increase in clients who are feeling these pressures more keenly at this time of year and need our support. Without this support, these issues can linger well beyond the Christmas period.

Solutions to complex family problems are not simple and your donation can make a big difference. It can help keep important development programmes for children and parents, such as the Buddy Programme and Growing Taller, available to the people who need them.

Community support also makes a wonderful contribution to our Enliven services for older people. Volunteers and staff at each of our eight care homes and in our Visiting Volunteers programme will be creating special Christmas events and treats for residents and clients. Not all our residents have family near-by, so extra effort will be applied to connecting family members, via Skype, letters and cards, or phone calls, and ensuring Christmas Day offers something special for everyone.

At this time of year the whole Presbyterian Support Otago team will be focused on meeting the needs of the people we support and doing our best to make this Christmas a happy one, with a brighter 2017 on the horizon for everyone we serve.

We wish you and all our supporters a very merry Christmas.