Struggling families get Santa visit

THE jolly man in red is helping families in need make the most of the festive season.

Christmas hampers donated

It amazed the mothers and fathers that they got food hampers. - Debbie Pilcher

Santa took time out from his busy schedule to visit families in Long Gully and hand out Christmas presents and food hampers to families.

The community outreach was organised by Debbie Pilcher and Debbie Wunhym.

Both women are members of the History Makers Church and wanted to make a difference to the lives of people in need.

"The response was unbelievable," Ms Pilcher said.

"It was amazing.

"It amazed the mothers and fathers that they got food hampers.

"I had a few mums come up to me, give me hugs and kisses and say, 'thanks so much, this is just awesome, this will help us through Christmas'."

Ms Pilcher and her team of helpers handed out about 80 presents.

"It was awesome," she said.

"The response was unbelievable."

Ms Pilcher plans to continue to strengthen her links with the Long Gully community.

"I can't wait to get back there in the New Year and go back and visit the families," she said.

"There were some people in desperate need.

"A couple approached me about food parcels so I'm going to deliver a couple of food parcels this week for the needy, a couple of families that are in need.

"We're going to look at maybe a barbecue in the playground and we're also looking into going out there once a month and doing something for the kids.

"I'm just so excited and can't wait to get back there."

Ms Pilcher said the Santa visit had been well-received by the children.

"They all loved him," she said.

"Some of the kids were saying, 'see you next year Santa', it was lovely."

Ms Pilcher and Ms Wunhym went door-knocking in the area before deciding to host the event in Derwent Drive.

"The presents were been donated by people in the History Makers Church," Ms Pilcher said.

"Debbie and I have a heart for the needy and the single mums so we took it on our own back to go out and canvas the need.

"We hope to do more next year."

Ms Pilcher said people had been receptive during their door-knock of the area.

"It was really, really good," she said.

"People were very positive and welcoming.

"They were needing too, some of them."

Meanwhile, St Luke's Anglicare is calling for donations as part of its annual Christmas Appeal.

Boutique floristry store owner Frankie Opie recently donated a decorated Christmas tree to the cause.

Christmas Appeal organiser Sue Tupper said St Luke's was grateful for all the donations it received. 

To donate to the cause or for more information phone 0400 624 657.

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