The 34th annual 3BA Christmas Appeal was launched yesterday to provide for families who struggle to make ends meet.
Anglicare manager for the diocese of Ballarat Geoff Ryan said the Christmas Appeal helped them provide for people who had very little at all.
“Without the Christmas Appeal, we couldn’t do anything. We’d be that flat broke,” Mr Ryan said.
“It provides an impetus to give us what we need: food for Christmas hampers and presents for children.”
Launched by City of Ballarat deputy mayor Samantha McIntosh, representatives from Ballarat’s four major welfare agencies and charities UnitingCare, the Salvation Army, Anglicare and St Vincent de Paul Society attended.
Mr Ryan said the launch of the appeal was a time to recognise how giving the Ballarat community was.
“Ballarat as a city has been given a lot, but it also has the great ability to give,” he said.
“It’s something Melbourne could never understand, how as a community we come together when there is the opportunity to give.”
He said although for many people Christmas was a happy time, it wasn’t a happy time for everyone.
“If you’re homeless and you don’t have a family, it can be a reminder of your loneliness and the fact you don’t have a person to buy a present for.”
Appeal director Peter Caligari said donations of cash, toys and food totalling $250,000 must be secured by the appeal to ensure welfare agencies and charities could adequately meet the huge demand for assistance for those in desperate circumstances.
3BA general manager John Fitzgibbon said 3BA had funded the appeal since its inception so that 100 per cent of what was raised could go back to the community.