ADVENT calendars are proving popular across supermarkets in Australia once again this year.
However, the Salvation Army in Bendigo is participating in an initiative of a different kind this Christmas with its Reverse Advent Calendar project.
Unlike a regular calendar, where the focus is on receiving a treat every day, this idea takes the focus off receiving and places it on giving to others.
A Reverse Advent Calendar begins as an empty box and for 20 days in the lead up to Christmas, participants place one item (non-perishable food, toiletries, treats) into the box.
After 20 days, their filled box is dropped off to a designated location where it is distributed by food relief agencies to people in the immediate community who are experiencing food insecurity.
Salvation Army Bendigo captain Lauren Kirkham said after the success of the boxes last year, she hoped this year would be even bigger.
"Last year we jumped onto this great project late in the game but we were still able to share Christmas joy with around 30 families at Christmas time," she said.
"This year we want to extend our reach to families who are struggling across the region.
"The pandemic has created a great amount of stress financially and emotionally for families in our community, but the festive season can be even more draining.
"We want this project to brighten people's Christmas and allow community members to support one another during this important time of year."
Community members are invited to be a part of this project to spread Christmas cheer across the region.
Boxes can be collected from the Salvation Army in Mundy Street, central Bendigo or the Thrift Shop in Thistle Street, Golden Square.
More information about the project can be found by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 5440 8410.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: