WITH many families experiencing hard times this Christmas, two Port Stephens organisations have banded together to bring the less privileged some festive joy.
The Nelson Bay Real Estate Christmas tree appeal began with a request from sales staff member Marlene Borg to share the Christmas gift of giving to the less fortunate in the Port community.
The idea was adopted by principal Heath Jones, the Port Stephens Family and Neighbourhood Service (FANS) was chosen as the recipient and on December 5 the Donald Street agency began accepting donated gifts.
‘‘We have been overwhelmed with the response, receiving hundreds of gifts from both the business and local community,’’ Mr Jones said.
‘‘We have been amazed by the generosity of people and it has also been great for staff office morale.’’
FANS early childhood worker Debbie Jones said that it was not unusual for the service, which covers the entire Port Stephens area, to receive daily calls for assistance at this time of the year.
‘‘It was such a surprise to see the large number of gifts under the tree on Monday … what this tells us about the Port community is how generous and giving people are,’’ Mrs Jones said.
‘‘We feel so proud to be able to work with Port people and businesses to provide gifts for children of families who would otherwise be finding it difficult this Christmas.’’
Some of the hundreds of gifts to be handed out by FANS staff prior to Christmas Day included toys, books, gift vouchers, food hampers and even a boat cruise.
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