Christmas Giving: How to Help Those in Need this Christmas

While Christmas is a season of joy, the festive season can be fraught with anxiety for many struggling individuals and families. Vulnerable people, and those experiencing hardship, can find it challenging to cope with the pressure they feel during this time of year. For some, this is the first year they have ever had to reach out and ask for assistance.

Communities@Work Christmas Cave - Christmas Charity to Help Those in Need

Communities at Work helps alleviate some of this anxiety every year by providing food and gifts to disadvantaged people, ensuring they don’t miss out on Christmas. We are continually thankful for the generosity of schools, businesses, groups and individuals who engage in Christmas Giving and support our Christmas Appeal, helping those in need in the Canberra community.

The Christmas Gift of Charity

Christmas giving is more than just exchanging gifts with loved ones. Christmas is also an opportunity to connect or reconnect, and support those in need in your community, as you celebrate who and what you have while remembering those who may have very little and could need your help this Christmas.

When you donate to charity for Christmas, you bring joy and relief to someone in need and help them feel that they’re a part of the festive season, encouraging their social connectedness and improving their will to thrive. You are also sending a message that people care.

Every little bit counts. You can make a tax-deductible financial donation to help us buy food and Christmas gifts for low-income families or even purchase gifts online and get them delivered to us. You can organise a food/gifts collection drive at your business or have a fundraising event to bring your people together in the tradition of Christmas Giving.

And while there may be a long list of charities to donate to for Christmas, when you choose Communities at Work, you’re choosing Canberra’s largest not-for-profit community organisation with more than 43 years of experience in supporting vulnerable people and people experiencing hardship in our community. Canberrans truly helping Canberrans!

Brumbies supporting Communities@Work Christmas Appeal Canberra 2020

Photo: Brumbies supporting Communities@Work Christmas Appeal 2020

Ways to Donate Locally This Christmas

We want to make doing charity at Christmas easy – so we’ve put together a list of different ways you can give back, supporting Communities at Work’s Christmas Appeal. Whichever way(s) you choose to help, you can be assured we will pass on your Christmas Giving to someone in need in the Canberra community.

1. Make a Tax-Deductible Donation Online:

Each year, we set up a specially decorated Christmas room in the Communities at Work’s Gungahlin and Tuggeranong Community Centres called the “Christmas Cave.” Current clients of our support services (community food pantries, crisis support etc.) visit the room and choose something from the donated food and gifts. While this may change with COVID-19 restrictions, we are working on new ways to distribute items and give people choice to make people’s Christmas special, and we will use your contribution to buy food and gifts for them!

2. Host a Virtual ‘Giving Tree’ (Fundraising)

Whether you are a school, business, shop or community group, bring your people together to organise a fundraising drive for online donations. Virtual giving can help keep everyone safe at this time of COVID-19 restrictions. All you have to do is register your support for our Christmas Appeal by using our Get in Touch form here, and we’ll set up a personalised section on our donation portal for you. Then, place a link (or QR code) to our donation portal anywhere you like – email, newsletter, website, social media etc., – and see the support pour in for your virtual Giving Tree!

You can directly obtain the link & QR Code from our Giving Tree Toolkit here.

Register your support for our Christmas Appeal here.

3. Host a Traditional Christmas Giving Tree (Collecting food and gifts)

While we’re focusing on virtual giving this year (due to COIVD-19 uncertainties), you are welcome to host a traditional Giving Tree and collect food/gift donations at your workplace, shop, school or community space for our Christmas Appeal. While we’re unable to offer donation pick-ups this time, you can drop off your donations at our Tuggeranong or Gungahlin centres in a contactless COVID-safe manner!

Register your support for our Christmas Appeal here to get started.

4. Hang our Christmas Tree Donation Tags on your Community Christmas Tree

Display our Christmas Tree printed tags at your reception area – or hang them on your Giving Tree for people to collect. Even if you’re doing a Virtual Appeal, you can put up the donation tags to create awareness. The tags have a QR code so people can quickly scan and donate online to our Christmas Appeal.

Send us an email at christmas@commsatwork.org, and we’ll send you a bundle of tags.

Or you can download and print them yourself from our Giving Tree toolkit here.

5. Order Donations Online and Get Them Delivered to Us

If you would like to donate food or gifts to us directly, you can place an order online through your retailer of choice and get them to send your donation to:

Canberra Christmas Appeal, Communities@Work Tuggeranong, 245 Cowlishaw Street, Greenway ACT 2900. 

Please ensure the delivery slot is between Mon-Fri 9 am – 5 pm. You can also send us an email at christmas@commsatwork.org and let us know that you have placed an online order, so we’ll keep an eye out!

Communities@Work Christmas Appeal Supporter - Canberra Labor Club - Christmas Appeal 2020

Photo: Canberra Labor Club dropping off donations for our Christmas Appeal 2020

You can also engage in Christmas Giving by: 

Doing your Christmas Online Shopping through Shopnate 

If you like to shop online, then try shopping through Shopnate. Shopnate is Australia’s No. 1 good cause shopping platform. Each time you shop online at hundreds of well-known retailers on the platform, a percentage of everything you spend goes to Communities@Work – at no cost to you. What’s more, Shopnate provides numerous deals and coupons, so you get to save as well. Find out more here.

Using Social Media to Promote our Christmas Appeal

Promote our Christmas Appeal on your Facebook, Instagram, or other social media pages by sharing the link to our donation page. You can also create a simple video message encouraging your followers to donate. You can access some handy tips and resources, including social media graphics and suggested text, from our Giving Tree Toolkit here.

How do my Christmas Donations help those in need?

We use every single donation to provide food and gifts to vulnerable and disadvantaged people, and people experiencing hardship.

Sometimes, even when we don’t get the items in time for that year, we will always make sure that they reach those in need sooner rather than later. This is why we prefer to kick off our Christmas Appeal as early as possible, as we begin distributing the food and gifts in the weeks leading up to Christmas to our existing food pantry and crisis support clients.

Last Christmas, we were able to assist over 1,100 struggling Canberrans by providing 1,006 food hampers. We stocked our Christmas Cave with all the donated food and gifts and ensured that everyone in need got something to make their and their family’s Christmas special. You can help us this year too by jumping on the Christmas charity bandwagon at the earliest!

Please remember: if you’re donating gifts, don’t wrap them as we like to give people the choice and control over what they’re choosing as gifts. We provide rolls of wrapping paper and cards at the front door of the Christmas room for those taking the gifts to use if they need it.

Communities@Work Christmas Cave 2020

Photo: Communities@Work Christmas Cave 2020


What can I donate for your Christmas Appeal?

If you’re collecting food and gift donations or directly donating food/gifts instead of virtual giving, here’s a handy list of suggested food and items that we need to meet the needs of struggling Canberrans this Christmas: click here to download pdf.

You can drop off your donations directly to Communities at Work (Mon-Fri 9 am to 4 pm) at:

  • Communities@Work Tuggeranong: Tuggeranong Community Centre, 245 Cowlishaw Street, Greenway
  • Communities@Work Gungahlin: Gungahlin Community Centre, 47 Ernest Cavanagh Street, Gungahlin
  • Communities@Work Weston Creek: John Turner Building, 172 Dixon Drive, Holder

Remember, you can always make a tax-deductible financial donation online too! 


For more information, visit our Christmas Donations Appeal Page.

Register your support for our Christmas Appeal via the Get in Touch form here.

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