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Love in Action call for donations ahead of ‘unprecedented’ Christmas demand

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Grace Frost
Grace Frost
Hi, I'm Grace Frost. I was honoured to report for the Review as their Digital Journalist from mid-2022 to the beginning of 2024. Ive since made a move to the Herald Sun.

Mitchell Shire-based workplaces are being encouraged to organise donations and fundraising drives to assist charity organisation Love in Action, who is gearing up for its busiest festive season yet.

The Wallan and Broadford-based groups are expecting to support hundreds of families with food, presents and love this Christmas.

Both groups have called for donations now, so they can be organised to cater for the growing demand for assistance.

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Unprecedented demand

Last year, the Love in Action Wallan team supplied Christmas hampers to between 150 and 200 families, double what they had supplied in previous years.

But the rate of families requiring help in the Mitchell Shire has risen again, particularly after the Reserve Bank of Australia increased the interest rates for the fifth time this year to 4.35 per cent.

President Sarah Brewer said there were 200 families as of last week that would need help this Christmas, with that number expected to increase.

“There’s a very good chance that we’ll be doing close to 250 hampers this year, which terrifies us, but excites us at the same time,” she said.

“This is the hardest year that we’ve ever had – this is unprecedented.”

Charity organisation Love in Action is calling on the community to donate to its Christmas appeal.

Love in Action Wallan will once again distribute hampers to families in need in the Mitchell Shire, each including presents for children, Christmas treats, essential foods, toiletries, and other festive gifts.

Community members can support Love in Action through fundraising at workplaces and donating products.

The organisation needs advent calendars, Christmas chocolates, cakes and puddings, bonbons, flour, sugar, sauces, pasta and gifts for teenagers.

“People are awesome at buying really cute things for children, but we have a lot of teenagers on our books, and they don’t get as many donated presents in,” Ms Brewer said.

“We want to put a smile on everyone’s face on Christmas morning.”

Donations can be placed in trolleys at Coles Wallan and Kilmore, LJ Hooker Wallan and Vento Cafe in Wallan.

Volunteers will begin packing the hampers on December 1.

“Pretty much from the hours of 9am in the morning to 9pm at night, we’ll have a 12-hour rotating roster of volunteers to be packing and delivering,” Ms Brewer said.

“We just really want to thank the community – we cannot do what we do and to the level of what we do it without people that donate throughout the year into our trolleys, or they sponsor families at Christmas.”

Community members who don’t have time to shop but are still willing to give can donate to Love in Action Wallan’s bank account.

Its details are: Account name: Love in Action Wallan; BSB: 633000; Account number: 192 510 311.

People can contact Love in Action Wallan on 0436 457 154 or by emailing loveinactionwallan@gmail.com.

Donations needed in Broadford

Love in Action Broadford is also gearing up for a busy Christmas season, planning multiple initiatives to support families in need.

The Broadford team is collecting presents for mothers, fathers and children.

Giving trees with tickets of children’s age and appropriate gifts in line with their interests are available at Broadford Living and Learning Centre, Bendigo Bank Kilmore and Broadford, the Country Soul Café in Broadford and the Anglican Church in Kilmore.

The team also plan to distribute 50 hampers of food and Christmas goodies, but due to inflation, Love in Action Broadford is more reliant this year than ever on the support and donations from the community.

The team is in need of frozen turkeys, pavlovas, Christmas puddings, Christmas stockings, chocolate, tins of ham, bonbons, soft drinks, shortbread, tins of biscuits, Zooper Doopers and other speciality Christmas items. People can leave their donations at Broadford Living and Learning Centre.

Founder Barbara Radford said the team were also raffling two Christmas baskets full of goodies at Kilmore and Broadford’s Coles and Woolworths.

“We appreciate what’s come in already, which is mainly from Facebook and a lot of people I don’t know,” she said.

People can also donate directly to Love in Action Broadford’s bank account to help fund the initiatives. Its details are: Account name: Love in Action Broadford; BSB: 633 000; Account number: 1611 32725.

People can contact Love in Action Broadford on 0473 845 808.

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