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The Christmas Spirit in action

26 November 2018

The Christmas Spirit in action

Happy families look forward to Christmas all year. Those doing it tough – and, sadly,
there are a lot of them – often approach it with a sense of dread.

Every Christmas, The Salvation Army Australia’s 311 corps (churches) are inundated with people who need assistance with anything from a meal to rebuilding their entire lives.

Corps Officer Bernadette shares some stories of people her corps has supported at Christmas.

“Having won custody of her grandchildren from their drug-addicted parents, Anna, a widowed pensioner, was preparing for their arrival. She asked if we could help her with some fresh fruit or meat so she could give them better food than the baked beans she subsisted on.

“When we saw the circumstances Anna lived in, we were able to supply beds for the girls, toys for them to unwrap at Christmas, a grocery voucher for fresh produce and places in our summer school holiday program.”

Soul food fills a gap

“Another lady we saw also wanted help with food for her children. A refugee from Sudan, she introduced us to two other women she’d met, also refugees but from different parts of Africa, all struggling to find work due to the language barrier and all with families who needed food.

“We gave them toys for their children for Christmas, and grocery vouchers so that they could buy items they would usually have in their traditional diet.

“The help we offer thanks to our supporters makes an enormous difference to people. As Susan, whose farm is in drought, said to us, ‘These things are good for our souls. We are tired, isolated, and struggling, and it’s good to know we are supported emotionally, spiritually, practically. You help us shoulder our burden. You help keep us strong. What you do is no small thing’.”

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The Salvation Army acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.

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