Sharing Christmas joy

People look forward to Christmas every year. Spending time with family and friends, enjoying Christmas treats, and sharing what they have with those they love.

At Presbyterian Support we look forward to sharing Christmas joy with many families and older people in Otago. Staff and volunteers are working to ensure that the people we support do not feel isolated or forgotten this Christmas.

There will be celebrations, performances and treats for all our care home residents and seniors’ activity programme participants. We are preparing special Christmas food parcels and collecting toys for up to 200 families in Dunedin. We will also distribute donated toys and gifts to families in North, Central and South Otago.

The joy of gift giving is in the thought and care taken in the selection and presentation of the gift. So, the donated toys and trimmings Presbyterian Support receives will be made available to parents to choose from. Parents can experience the joy of thinking about their wee ones’ passions and interests when choosing their gift. They will also have the thrill of wrapping the gift, ready for Christmas morning.

Our Family Works Buddy Programme coordinators are also planning special events for young buddies to enjoy during the Christmas holidays. With the proceeds of their recent Trust Power Community Award as a kick start ($250), Buddy Programme participants from South and West Otago are planning a day trip to the Dunedin Indoor Trampoline Park this summer.

“This will be a real holiday highlight for the kids,” says Kate Nicacio, Family Works Buddy Coordinator.

Christmas should be a joyful time for all families, and all generations.

“We’re fundraising to take all our young buddies to the trampoline park.“ “Not only will the kids love it, the trip will take some stress off parents who can’t generally afford the cost of special events and holiday activities.”

Jodi Ryan, Family Works Social Worker in Oamaru, agrees that lack of money to spend on entertainment over the long Christmas holiday period can be very stressful for some parents.

“We have Christmas and holiday food costs, immediately followed by back-to-school expenses, all over a five-week period. Money for gifts and entertainment is very hard to find for the families we help,” she said. “Whatever support we can provide to help make Christmas holidays special has a huge impact on a family’s wellbeing.”

With your help, Presbyterian Support Otago will provide a little extra to children and families in need over the Christmas period, so they too can share in this joyous time. Your gift brings a lasting smile to the faces of children, parents and grandparents in Otago.