St Vincent de Paul Society hoping to provide some Christmas cheer with annual appeal

St Vincent de Paul Society hoping to provide some Christmas cheer with annual appeal

THE festive season can be anything but merry for people going through hard times.

But the St Vincent de Paul Society is hoping to provide some Christmas cheer from its annual appeal.

The appeal runs until the end of January and the society is asking the community to help people experiencing disadvantage by donating what they can.

This week in Rockingham the local branch of the society distributed 110 hampers.

St Vincent de Paul Society WA chief executive Mark Fitzpatrick said far too many West Australians were facing a miserable festive season and Christmas.

“This has been a particularly trying year with households under severe financial stress and with record unemployment rates, leaving many families and individuals struggling to make ends meet,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“The number of people the society has assisted with emergency relief has increased by 30 per cent in the past year with a total of 48,748 individuals receiving assistance.”

Single parents with children made up 42.8 per cent of people seeking assistance, with food the most requested form of emergency relief.

Rockingham branch president Ed Wolanski said items for the hampers were donated by children from the Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School, the Kolbe and Mother Theresa catholic colleges, the St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School and the Our Lady of Lourdes parish.

Food was also donated by the Port Kennedy and Charthouse IGA stores.

The project was co-ordinated from the Penola by the Sea retreat in Safety Bay by Lily Tan.

“Christmas time provides another level of stress to people who are already struggling, often compounded by feelings of guilt for parents who are unable to provide gifts or a decent meal,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

“At what should be a time of joy and celebration, far too many West Australians face a bleak Christmas and we want to make sure we can help as many people as we can.”

Donations can be made by calling 13 18 12 or visiting www.vinnies.org.au/christmasappeal.