By Bonny Burrows
Pakenham residents are urged to dig deep this Christmas and support those who are less fortunate.
This year Pakenham Uniting Church and Target are making sure women and children fleeing domestic violence and families in desperate situations experience the joy of unwrapping a gift this Christmas.
Now in its 26th year, the Target Uniting Care Christmas Appeal collects gifts and money for distribution through the Uniting Care Connections.
Pakenham Uniting Church appeal collector Glynis Ramsay said this year’s focus was on bridging the socio-economical divide within the community.
According to the church, one in six children under 15 are living in poverty in Australia.
Ms Ramsay said she has heard a lot of politicians talk recently about “growth” but not much about the inequality which still exists where the gap between rich and poor seems to be increasing.
She said the Christmas appeal was a simple way residents could help disadvantaged people this festive season.
“Everyone going through the Target checkout can purchase a $1 appeal bauble,” Ms Ramsay said.
“If you can’t leave an unwrapped gift under the tree, then baubles are a way to express justice, love and generosity.
“If you can give just a little, then all those small donations will combine together and turn into something much bigger.”
Target Australia managing director Guy Russo said the appeal supported those who needed it most at a very difficult time of year.
“This appeal helps such a vast range of families doing it tough in our community, and we feel privileged to be able to help by providing a place where Australians can give to others,” Mr Russo said.
Gifts can be donated at Target Pakenham.