More in need but less to give

MORE people than ever are in need of help this Christmas, according to UnitingCare.

As Christmas Day approaches, the number of families needing help was on the rise, UnitingCare Wodonga chairman Ian Bedford said.

So much so the rate of donations from the public “simply wasn’t enough”.

“Sadly with the cost of living being what it is more people are coming to us for help, and fewer people seem to be in a position to make donations.” Mr Bedford said.

“We can use our own resources to make up the difference but this really makes it difficult to provide ongoing support.”

“We need to know what level of support we have from the public so that we can provide a bit of happiness for some families who really need it at this time of the year.”

The Salvation Army in Albury have been experiencing a similar trend.

Lieutenant Bindy Lupis said that everyone was doing it tough.

“The cost of things like petrol and electricity have been going up reasonably consistently over the past twelve months.” Lieutenant Lupis said.

“Budgets are tighter and sadly that means that people have less room to move and give money for gifts and food.

“Demand for food vouchers and Christmas gifts has increased around 30 per cent from this time last year.”

The slow rate of donations at Christmas trees in Target and K Mart stores in Wodonga and Albury is also a concern.

UnitingCare volunteer Louanne Stabb said this year seemed harder.

“I think the number of avenues for financial assistance are a bit limited, and many families have difficulty coping around Christmas,” she said.

“Some people won’t even have trees at Christmas, so we would be very appreciative of any help that people can give us.”

Donations for UnitingCare’s Operation Santa can be made at Target stores in Albury and Wodonga, as well as the Salvation Army’s K Mart Wishing Tree Appeal.

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