Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters will today launch her 2018 Christmas Donation Drive.

Ms Chesters is again supporting the Uniting Bendigo Emergency Relief Assistance Centre in Kangaroo Flat.


“Last year we helped to provide Christmas presents to over 1500 local children and I believe we can do the same again,” said Ms Chesters.


The Emergency Relief Assistance Centres assist several thousand local people each year by providing food, financial assistance, advocacy, household goods and clothing.


For a number of Central Victorians, Christmas is a time of stress, a time when financial hardship and family breakdown are felt most keenly.


Ms 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,” said Ms Chesters.


Each year, Uniting requests donations of unwrapped new toys (still in packaging) for ages birth to 16 and non-perishable or specialty Christmas food items.


 “Donations can be dropped off at my office on the corner of Williamson and Myers Streets or in the collection box at Kangaroo Flat Champions IGA,” said Ms Chesters.


The Kangaroo Flat Emergency Relief Assistance Centre is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am – 1pm and is located on the corner of Church and Camp Streets.