Bring Christmas cheer to Darwin homeless

Posted On November 25, 2006

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The Northern Territory branch of the St Vincent de Paul Society has launched its annual Christmas Appeal.

The charity organisation says it will be helping about 600 people in Darwin this year, including 100 families. The charity anticipates it will spend around $5,000 to $6,000 on assistance.

The Society’s Bill Burford says they will be providing hampers and children’s gifts again this Christmas. The Society says it assisted one family with emergency accommodation this week and is aware there are more in need of help. Mr Burford says it is unfortunate the charity does not have much accommodation to offer and the situation of some Darwin residents is heart-breaking.

“We’ll also be trying to improve things for the singles and homeless men and women in the city by providing up to about 1,000 Christmas meals at our hostels and at our mobile food van,” he said. “Not to have a home to go to and not to have anything to look forward to at Christmas is a pretty desperate sort of situation.”

Mr Burford says the work does have an effect on their volunteers. “Our people are all volunteers, they’re not professionals, and it’s like just having a friend who’s in a bad way and they feel it,” he said. Mr Burford says he is pleased with the response of the Darwin community to its Christmas appeal so far, with many schools collecting food parcels for the cause.