THE Salvation Army is encouraging residents to join in as it spreads Christmas cheer this festive season.
The charity said Christmas could be one of the hardest times of the year for Australians doing it tough, with many living in poverty and struggling to afford basics such as food, and many expecting to 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,” Merriwa Major Nikki Curtis said.
“We can only do this with the support of the Australian public.”
Donations of toys and Christmas food items can be dropped off at The Salvation Army Merriwa or at Kmart Wishing Trees in shopping centres.
As well as its annual Christmas Cheer operation to provide toys and food for those in need, the Merriwa branch will hold a community carols event and Christmas Day service.
The carols will start 5pm on December 22 and the December 25 service will start 9.30am at 26 Jenolan Way, Merriwa.
People who need help this Christmas with food and gifts can call 9305 2131.
“Whether you are by yourself, or with friends and family, Christmas is a time that is best spent together,” Major Curtis said, encouraging people to join the events.