Parliament – Christmas Appeal 2017

Wednesday, 07 February 2018

I rise today to acknowledge and thank all of those who donated to my recent Christmas appeal. For many of us, Christmas is a very joyful time of the year—a time spent with family, catching up with friends, giving and receiving presents and eating a little bit too much food. But it is important to remember that, for those Australians who can’t put food on the table or presents under the tree, Christmas is an incredibly difficult time.

Each year at Christmas I partner with local charities to try to make the festive season a little bit easier for those in our community who are struggling. My office acts as a drop-off point for donations of toys, gifts, food, toiletries and animal food. The generosity of our community truly reached new heights for this Christmas appeal. We estimate that around $20,000 worth of goods were donated by the southern Adelaide community. We were able to make multiple donations to local charities. It is amazing to think how many families would have benefited from these donations. I’d like to sincerely thank and acknowledge every person who brought in a donation. Thank you for your kindness, selflessness and generosity.

There were so many heart-warming stories during our appeal. One woman, who would like to remain nameless, spent months knitting 22 beautiful dolls for children. Another man handmade a number of wooden trucks that were just superb. The Askell-Wilson family brought in three brand-new bicycles. Imagine how happy they would’ve made the children on Christmas morning who had very little.

Two of our local schools organised hundreds of donations from students and families: the Seaford K-7 School, and the children’s council at Southern Montessori School, led by students Hope, Flynn and Cooper. Goodstart Early Learning Sheidow Park and Goodstart Early Learning Seaford set up Christmas trees in their foyers and asked for donations from families. By the time I collected the donations, there were hundreds of brand-new toys spilling out from under the trees.

So thank you to all those organisations, community groups, businesses and individuals who donated. I would like to acknowledge Onkaparinga youth Base 10, Noarlunga SES, Christies Beach Chiropractic Centre, Woodend Children’s Centre, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Karate-Do Goju Australia at Christie Downs, Southern Districts Midweek Ladies Tennis Club, Hallett Cove Lions Club, Morphett Vale Tennis Club and the 50-plus activity club. These were just some of the organisations which, along with individuals, made a huge contribution.

I would also like to thank the local charities I partnered with for the amazing work they do: Junction Australia Christies Beach, AnglicareSA Beach Road, The Vines Uniting Church, Vinnies SA Noarlunga conference, Salvation Army Noarlunga and the RSPCA South Australia. They work all year round to make the lives of others better.