There is no better time for giving than during Christmas. The festive season is not only for giving to friends and family but also for helping those struggling in the community. It is the season for bringing joy to people in need.
Photo: Communities@Work received Christmas donations from Gungahlin Village and Canberra Metro Operations in 2019
Research shows that Australians are four times as likely to donate at Christmas time than at the start of the year, and almost ten times as likely to give a charitable donation at Christmas than at the end of the financial year.
This is the reason that not for profit and community organisations organise Christmas Appeals every year – as does Communities@Work!
The focus of our Christmas Appeal is on collecting donations of food and gifts that can support the most vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and families in the Canberra community.
But, what’s in it for you?
Well, if you’re on the fence about giving back this Christmas, let us convince you – here are five reasons why you should make Christmas donations, and donate food and gifts for Christmas to Communities@Work:
1. That Deep Sense of Satisfaction
There’s an old saying that goes something like, “donating is the best selfish act you can carry out because you feel so incredibly good when you do!” If you’ve ever given to charity or helped someone out at any point, you must be familiar with the warm glow and positive aftereffects. Even purely from a scientific standpoint, research suggests that doing good feels good, partly because of the social approval associated with helping others.
And what better way to achieve that sense of satisfaction and feel good during Christmas, than by donating food and gifts to Communities@Work and helping us support the Canberra community?
Did You Know: Communities@Work received 1,400 donated gifts from the Canberra community that we proudly stocked at our Christmas Cave during Christmas 2019?
2. Impact on the Community
You may feel apprehensive about donating money if you aren’t sure where your donations are going, or whether they’re genuinely being used to support those in need. However, if you’re making food and gift donations, you can be sure that they will reach the intended individuals and families.
Donations to Communities@Work are making an impact in the community by helping put food on the table for struggling families during the festive season or brightening up children’s days with new toys that they’d otherwise have missed out on. And when you bring joy to individuals and families, you’re also enriching the broader community.
Photo: Christmas Giving Tree at Gungahlin Village, December 2019
3. Become Socially Responsible
Following on from reason #2, not only are you creating social impact but by donating food and gifts, you’re also being socially responsible. If you’re with a business or an organisation, hosting a giving tree or organising an internal fundraising drive and then donating the food and gifts, can be a great way of demonstrating to your customers as well as the broader community that you care about the local community.
Did You Know: During the year, we have over 900 households sign up to get regular or one-off assistance when they are experiencing hardship through our community pantries in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin?
4. Passing on the Values of Generosity
Children naturally tend to like helping others. Nurturing this inherent generosity can support their growth into adults with a community-oriented mindset who have a greater appreciation for what they have. If you’re donating, share that experience with your children and pass on the value of generosity.
It may even flow on to more than just your children. Donations by one or two persons can often encourage their family and friends around to do the same. It can be a beautiful and thoughtful way to bond while spreading the love!
5. Kindness from a Stranger
The biggest reason of them all – when you’re helping someone doing it tough in Christmas (or any time of the year, really), you’re on the receiving end of tons of positivity. They may not know who you are, you may not know who you’re helping out – but you can be sure that you’re spreading goodwill and that it’s not going unnoticed.
Your gifts and donations may help someone escaping abuse, someone homeless, or someone in crisis. Simply put, by donating, you are sending a message to someone else in the community that you care. A small donation from you can result in a big joy in someone else’s life. Isn’t that the best reason to donate food and gifts during Christmas?
Support during Christmas by Communities@Work
Photo: Communities@Work’s Christmas Cave 2019
Last Christmas, Communities@Work assisted over 1,000 individuals by providing Christmas gifts and food packages. Each year a specially decorated Christmas room is set up in the Gungahlin and Tuggeranong Community Centres, fondly called the Christmas Cave. People who are current clients of our pantry services are invited to visit the Cave and choose something from the donated items. Volunteers and paid staff set up the spaces and are there to support people during their visit.
This year, families will receive a Canberra Relief Centre hamper full of everyday pantry items, their choice of Christmas food to complement the hamper, and a gift voucher to use for fresh food. The amount of food will depend on the size of the family. We’ll also have gifts and toys for people to pick out from our Christmas Cave.
For more information and to support our Christmas Appeal, please visit our Christmas page here. If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, you can donate online here.