Day 9: Help people in need this Christmas

Christmas is a time to think of other people – particularly those who are struggling or down on their luck. Most charities have already filled their volunteer server places for Christmas lunch but there plenty of other ways you can help out.

Woman holding a gift-wrapped present

Donate a present and brighten someone’s Christmas

  • Melbourne City Mission has already allocated volunteer places for Christmas Day lunches but you can still donate gifts to the Melbourne ABC Giving Tree Appeal until 24 December. The presents will help disadvantaged families celebrate Christmas. Phone (03) 8625 9955 to donate or inquire about Melbourne City Mission’s volunteer program for next year.
  • Hanover Welfare Services’ Christmas gift campaign has already closed but you can still spread Christmas cheer by supporting their festive donation appeal. Phone them on 1800 720 660.
  • Anglicare Victoria’s breakfast for people who are homeless or in insecure accommodation happens on Christmas Day at St Peter’s Eastern Hill (15 Gisborne Street, Melbourne). Volunteers are already sorted, but if you want to help in 2014 – anything from one-off stints at a barbecue to 24-hour-a-day foster care – phone 1800 809 722.
  • Kensington Neighbourhood House is running a special senior’s lunch on Wednesday 18 December. Places are limited so phone (03) 9376 6366 to book. They are also raising funds to put on English classes for asylum seekers if you are able to help. Kensington Neighbourhood House is at 89 McCracken Street, Kensington.
  • Donate to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal, which helps 600,000 Victorians by providing food vouchers, helping with utility bills, running soup vans and more. Phone 13 18 12.
  • The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is in the final weeks of its annual Christmas appeal. You can support them with donations or volunteering by phoning (03) 9326 6066.

Reindeer antlers for sale

Fundraising reindeer antlers ($5 each) – Proceeds go to Children’s Cancer Institute Australia

So, when Christmas is over what do you do with that well-intentioned but poorly-researched kris kringle gift? Why, give it to someone who really needs it, of course. Drop off any duplicated or unwanted gifts at Melbourne Central’s Many Happy Returns and the Salvation Army will pass it on to someone who could really use it. And you get a free coffee from Streat cafe in return.
And finally, if you’re after an easy way to support others, try eating and drinking for a cause at one of Melbourne’s social enterprise businesses. 
For more Christmas news and ideas, stay tuned to our 30 Days of Christmas blog.