17 December, 2023

Not all turkey and bon bons

While Christmas time is often associated with joy, happiness and a jolly spirit, it is also a source of extreme stress for people struggling to make ends meet.

Not all turkey and bon bons - feature photo

This time of year sees a big increase of people in crisis needing help, especially given the financial hardships of the past year.

Salvation Army spokesperson Colonel Rodney Walters says people are at a breaking point, with new research from the Salvation Army showing that almost half of people reaching out to the organisation for help, are doing so for the first time.

“Christmas is the busiest time of year for the Salvos […] and the reality is, Aussies are losing the battle to stay afloat,” Cl Walters said.

“Christmas can be stressful and isolating for many people experiencing hardship, especially in light of the current cost of living crisis.

“Many will be unable to afford basic necessities, such as food, utilities or housing.”

Woodford Community House president Luisa Garcia says the number of long-term residents living in the local caravan park, Cruice Park, has doubled within the past six months.

“Cruice Park is a great visual example of the effects of the housing crisis,” she said.

“Where once it was mostly single men living there, now there are single women, couples and families.

“We currently have a family of 11 living there that we provide regular help to.”

The Community House has redistributed food and hampers to families struggling to make ends meet, along with vouchers to the local op shop.

Given the added financial stress of the holidays, Cl Walters says the best way people can help is by contributing donations to any and all local support groups, as well as connecting with loved ones and sharing meals to ensure nobody is left feeling alone.

“During these times of hardship, it is extremely challenging for people to feel a sense of belonging and connection, especially at a time when being surrounded by loved ones matters most,” Cl Walters said.

“We want to encourage everyone to embrace the season by connecting with loved ones, sharing meals and spreading joy by giving to one another.”

If you would like to donate to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, or if you need support, please visit or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).


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