CHRISTMAS is often seen as a time for joy and celebration, but for some families, it is a stressful time of year.
So to help, Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Service (PSFANS) and Nelson Bay Real Estate have joined together to bring a smile to those less fortunate.
SPIRIT: Presents can be dropped in to Nelson Bay Real Estate at 45 Donald Street, Nelson Bay.
The Giving Tree appeal is an opportunity for the community to donate an unwrapped gift or food hamper, which will then be given to children in the Port Stephens area that would normally go without.
“It’s a really difficult time for many families,” said FANS early childhood coordinator Debbie Jones. “Many are facing financial hardship. One family for example, was going Christmas shopping at the local op-shop, as brand new presents were just to expensive.”
Last year, the Giving Tree appeal received over 200 presents, which reached over 100 kids throughout the Port Stephens area. “For us, it meant that we knew lots of kids had a smile on their face on Christmas Day,” Ms. Jones said.
For Marlene Borg, sales assistant at Nelson Bay Real Estate, the response last year was beyond expectations. “The community contributed a lot, everyone was really welcoming about it,” she said.
“We are broadening our reach this year, handing out flyers in more areas, trying to get a lot more people on board,” Ms. Borg said.
Ms. Jones said the donated presents take that bit of extra pressure off families at Christmas time.