More than 4000 families will approach Ballarat charities for help this Christmas period.
The Ballarat community is helping to keep shelves stocked with food and gifts at welfare agencies’ busiest time of the year.
The 3BA Christmas Appeal is asking for donations of presents, non-perishable food items or money to help struggling families enjoy Christmas.
3BA general manager John Fitzgibbon and Christmas Appeal ambassador Peter Caligari collected boxes filled with toys from Selkirk on Tuesday.
“We are hearing from welfare agencies the cupboards are bare, the demand is definitely up on last year and they are desperate for more supplies, not just food but toys for a range of different ages. Our focus remains on delivering what they need,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.
“I think most of us take for granted the fact that on Christmas Day we have nice food and presents. But 4000 families are facing the prospect of not having that. That is something I can’t fathom.”
We would like every child to wake up to something from Santa this Christmas.Karen Osborne, Selkirk
Selkirk executive assistant Karen Osborne said the Ballarat company had been donating to the 3BA Christmas Appeal for almost 20 years.
Staff are asked to donate items while the business also donates money to purchase toys.
“We would like every child to wake up to something from Santa this Christmas,” she said.
Mr Fitzgibbon said the appeal was underpinned by a large number of organisations that donated every year.
“The basis of this appeal is everybody in Ballarat coming together to look after our own,” he said.
“It wouldn’t be surprising there will be staff here connecting with charities on Christmas Day. We are talking families that by the time they are paying rent, things are just a bit tight... hard working families that just struggle at this time of year.”
Members of the community can donate presents, non-perishable food items or money to 3BA at 56 Lydiard Street North Ballarat.
Items are distributed to the Salvation Army, Uniting Care, St Vincent de Paul and Anglicare.