Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters will today launch her 2016 Christmas Donation Drive.
This year, Ms Chesters is supporting the Uniting Care Emergency Relief Centre in Kangaroo Flat.
The Emergency Relief Centre assists several thousand local people each year by providing food, financial assistance, advocacy, household goods and clothing.
“Earlier this year I visited the Centre and was really moved by the people I met and the level of need in the community for assistance.
"At this time of year, for some of us, there’s a mad Christmas rush as we juggle end-of-year celebrations, last-minute shopping and preparations to travel or receive visitors.
"Sadly this is not universal. For a number of Central Victorians, Christmas is a time of stress, a time when financial hardship and family breakdown are felt most keenly.
“For the people who are struggling to keep a roof over their head, Christmas presents or a traditional Christmas lunch is very low on the priority list,” said Ms Chesters.
Ms Lisa Chesters is calling for those who can to support families in need this Christmas.
"Bendigo is a generous community. We take care of our own. Together we can help make Christmas special for a local family less fortunate than our own.
"We are fortunate to have a network of not-for-profit organisations who work especially hard at this time of year to alleviate some of the financial stress and loneliness felt by many in our local community.
"I would like to encourage people to make a donation.
“The Emergency Relief Centre needs toys for children and non-perishable or Christmas food items.
“Any donations are most welcome and can be dropped off at my office or in the collection box at Kangaroo Flat Champions IGA,” said Ms Chesters.
The Kangaroo Flat Emergency Relief Centre is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am – 1pm and is located on the corner of Church and Camp Streets.