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.

No Christmas greetings from Hungarian Parliament

Posted On November 17, 2006

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The Hungarian Parliament and its Speaker, Katalin Szili, will not be sending out greeting cards for the Christmas holidays this year due to the country’s budgetary woes, according to reports by

Szili told reporters on Thursday that last year the Parliament’s December budget was Ft 8 million (euro 31,000) higher than in previous months.

According to Szili, the money spent on cards can be better used for other charitable purposes, and urges all factions to follow her example.

Help grant a Christmas wish

Posted On November 9, 2006

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KMART wants presents by the trolley loads but not for themselves. The Albury shop yesterday launched its annual Wishing Tree Foundation appeal.

The appeal asks Border residents to buy a present for someone less fortunate and place it under the tree for distribution by the Salvation Army. Last year more than 1500 presents, worth $20,000, were collected.

Salvation Army Albury captain Michael Golden hoped more donations would be received this year due to an increase in needy families. “Every year at least one person loses their job at Christmas, and with the current drought and increased interest rates there are a lot of families under financial pressure,” he said. “They get very emotional when they receive these presents it really touches their hearts.”

Changing Young Lives Foundation’s Christmas Appeal

Posted On November 3, 2006

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The Changing Young Lives Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting disadvantaged children in Hong Kong and mainland China, has announced the launch of a special festive-season appeal to help raise 1,000 Christmas presents for underprivileged children living in Hong Kong.

The campaign will be chaired by James Thompson and Doreen Pao, and is being supported by the charity’s Goodwill Ambassador Maria Cordero who will be in attendance at the launch reception. In addition, acclaimed child pianist, ten-year old Aristo Sham, will perform at the launch party planned for the evening of November 27, 2006 in his first appearance as the Changing Young Lives Foundation’s newly-appointed Child Ambassador.

“There are 260,000 underprivileged children in Hong Kong alone, and our appeal will bring joy to some of them and enable them to open a Christmas present,” said Marcia Aw, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

She notes that this year’s appeal focuses on the almost 25% of children under 15 living in the Special Administrative Region who are still officially classified as living in poverty. This means that an overwhelming number of Hong Kong youngsters cannot afford a regular hot meal and other basic necessities, and some may not even have a roof over their heads.

Shoeboxes wanted for Operation Christmas child

Posted On November 3, 2006

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Christmas is less than two months away and once again the Lacombe Ambulance Service is asking the community to support the Canadian branch of the Operation Christmas Child.

The campaign provides shoeboxes filled with different items to more than 95 different countries, getting children some much-needed items. Last year, 705 boxes were collected in the area, and Thompson is hoping more people will make boxes.

People first need to decide what age group and gender they are buying for. They can create a shoebox for a little boy or girl between the ages of 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14. Organizers ask that no food items (except for hard, wrapped candy), no used item, no breakable, perishable or frightening items be included in the boxes.

Dave and Jill Cooke, a couple from Wrexham, Wales, developed the concept behind the campaign in 1990. They saw the plight of children living in a Romanian orphanage, and decided to send over truckloads of medical supplies, food, clothing and Christmas gifts for the children.

Operation Christmas Child was adopted in 1993 by the Samaritan’s Purse, who has since delivered 46 million shoeboxes to children in more than 100 countries.

Individuals interested in putting a shoebox together can drop it off at Lacombe Municipal Ambulance (5430-47 Ave.) or at Sunny 94 radio studio (4725-49B Ave.) by November 7.

More information can be found at 

Support Operation Christmas child > UK

Posted On November 3, 2006

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Operation Christmas Child is asking people to fill a wrapped shoebox with small gifts for children in Ukraine and Crimea.

The youngsters who receive the gifts are affected by war, famine, natural disaster or poverty and a shoebox is likely to be their only present. If you can help, it’s easy to do. Wrap a medium-size shoebox in Christmas paper, making sure the lid is wrapped separately.

Operation Christmas Child suggests the following unwrapped items: cuddly toy, toothbrush, toothpaste, bar of soap and flannel, notepad, colouring book, picture book, pencils and pens, hat, gloves, scarf, a small ball, jigsaw, toy car or truck, jewellery, hair accessories, a greetings card and sweets with a sell-by date of at least March 2007.

Do not include chocolate, war-related items, clothing, liquids, glass, marbles, sharp objects, medicines and books with words. Remember to include a £2 cheque, payable to Samaritan’s Purse, for shipment charges.

Shoeboxes can be left, from November 4 to 20, in Workington at the Tourist Information Centre on Finkle Street, Time To, in Crosby Street, Maryport, The Word, on Cockermouth’s Station Street, or in Keswick at Blacks on Main Street or the Keswick Reminder office on Station Street.

For more information please call 0870 011 2002.

Charity Christmas Cabaret

The Melton Musical Theatre Company is staging its first charity Christmas cabaret with songs from the shows in aid of the Clic Sargent Charity. The two-night spectacular takes place at the Pera Theatre on December 1 and 2.

With a long and fine tradition dating back to 1919, the company owed much of its success in the early years to the entrepreneurial and dedicated leadership of its founder Sir Malcolm Sargent. With him acting as both musical director and producer, the standard of performance was very high indeed, both on stage and in the orchestra.

With Sir Malcolm having founded both the operatic society and The Sargent Cancer Care for Children, members decided to raise money for CLIC as a fitting tribute.

The musical extravaganza will feature songs and dance numbers from West End shows and musical theatre past and present, including Les Miserables, My Fair Lady, Cabaret, Guys and Dolls and Phantom of the Opera.

Tickets are on sale now, gold tickets to include buffet, cabaret and private table cost £200 per table of eight or £25 each. Silver tickets cost £10 with balcony seating for the show. Booking forms are available from outlets in town or by calling (01664) 812364.

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