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Community elves to the rescue for Christmas hamper drive

Published: 13 December 2018

This week community volunteers, organisations and Cardinia Shire Council delivered around 400 Christmas hampers to vulnerable people and families across our shire.

Following the unexpected early closure of the 4Cs Crisis Relief Centre on Friday 30 November, Council organised an emergency meeting of community organisations, who partnered with Council to coordinate the 2018 Christmas hamper drive.

Previously run by the 4Cs, the hamper drive ensures our community’s most vulnerable families are supported in the lead up to Christmas.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Graeme Moore said he was thrilled with the response from community organisations and volunteers following the sudden closure of 4Cs.

“On behalf of the whole Council, I wish to express our sincerest gratitude to all of the community volunteers, organisations and Council staff that stood up to the challenge this week, making possible the delivery of hundreds of Christmas hampers to those in need in our community,” Cr Moore said.

Local organisations who partnered with Council included Salvation Army, Follow Church, ADRA, Outlook, and Parklea.

Many more organisations also contacted Council and donated knitted toys, handcrafted toys and food goods; local schools collected toys and goods and donated directly to Council’s own 2018 Christmas Hamper event; and, more than 60 volunteers from Council and partner organisations assisted throughout the week.

Cr Moore said the Council was overwhelmed by the offers of support and that every bit counted toward the successful delivery of the program.

“This collaboration was a demonstration of what Christmas and community is all about. Because of this effort, hundreds of families received hampers and over 2,000 residents were assisted, including children who received toys as well.

“The atmosphere down at Outlook Community Centre in Pakenham, where we were set up for hamper collections, was joyful and it was truly heart-warming to see such generosity of time and goods, kindness and caring among Council and community. There was a sense of ‘let’s get this done and make a real difference’.”

A number of other local organisations will also continue to provide emergency food relief to vulnerable people throughout this period including:

Salvation Army food support
51 Bald Hill Road, Pakenham
Emergency food relief over the Christmas period. To make an appointment, call 03 5941 4906

The Food Van (Pakenham)
Bourke Park, Pakenham

  • 6–9pm, Tuesday 18 December
  • 6–9pm, Thursdays 13 December
  • 6–11pm, Thursday 20 December

More information at https://follow.church/the-food-van 

Dig In Café (Emerald)
Emerald Community House Hall, 356 Belgrave–Gembrook Road, Emerald

  • 6–8pm, Friday 21 December

Christmas celebration, registration required at www.facebook.com/events/354243651994228/ or call 03 5968 3881

The Emerald Community House also has a free food cupboard and table www.emeraldcommunityhouse.org.au/food-free-cupboard 

For additional support, visit the Crisis Referral Information System (CRIS) at cris.crisisservices.org.au