THE Salvation Army is encouraging Mandurah residents to connect with their community this Christmas.
Christmas is one of the hardest times of the year for Australians doing it tough, with large numbers living in poverty and struggling to afford basics such as food.
Many will also spend the festive season alone.
At Christmas, the Salvos will serve more than 100,000 meals, distribute more than 500,000 gifts and toys and support more than 70,000 families in need across Australia.
Locally, it will join with social service groups around Mandurah to assist more 1500 local families using the Mandurah Christmas Hampers.
Salvation Army Captain Scott Ellery said they could only achieve this feat with the collaboration of local organisations and the support of generous people.
Many of the gifts given come directly from community members who generously participate in the |K-mart Wishing Tree Appeal.
A good portion of the food is donated by local schools and clubs.
The Salvos in Mandurah is also putting on a Community Carols event and preparing for special Christmas Day service.
The carolling event will be held at the Mandurah Foreshore at 5.30pm and will feature the Silver Threads Band and the Voices in Harmony Choir.
Their Christmas Day service will be held at The Salvation Army from 9.30am at 45 Lakes Road, Greenfields.
If you require assistance at Christmas with food and gifts, call 9535 4951.