Chesters urges Central Victorians to help those in need this Christmas

Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters has today launched her 2021 Christmas Donation Drive.

“Once again, I ’m encouraging locals to join me in supporting the Uniting Emergency Relief Assistance Centre in Kangaroo Flat,” Chesters said.

“Since 2013 we have helped hundreds and hundreds of local families, and I believe we can do the same again.”

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

Over the course of the pandemic, they have been there to provide support and food those who need it. In September alone, they provided food relief to 485 people, including over 150 children.

“For a number of Central Victorians, Christmas is a time of stress and a time when financial hardship and family breakdowns are felt most strongly,” Chesters said.

"Bendigo is a generous community. We take care of our own. For so many of us, it has been a difficult 18 months. Together we can help make this Christmas special for a local family worse off 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. This is all the more important this year.

"I would like to encourage people to make a donation if they can,” 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.

“To remain COVID-safe, I ask that donations are dropped off at Uniting, on the corner of Church and Camp Streets in Kangaroo Flat,” said Ms Chesters.

Kangaroo Flat Uniting is open Tuesdays from 9-3, Thursdays from 9-1 and Fridays from 9-3.