Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Salvation Army spreading the spirit of Christmas

The Minister for Community Services, Julie Collins, today helped wrap gifts and hand out food and toys at the Salvation Army’s Clarence Doorways Centre in Howrah as part of its Christmas Cheer appeal.

This year, the Salvation Army will open its doors to provide food and presents to thousands of local families.

Ms Collins said the generosity of Tasmanians has once again been on display this year with more than 8,000 gifts and around $20,000 received by the Christmas Cheer appeal.

“The Christmas Cheer appeal will help brighten the day for children and their families who are doing it tough this time of year,” Ms Collins said.

“The Salvation Army is spreading the spirit of Christmas to many vulnerable Tasmanian families and it is heartwarming to see how the local community has supported people in need with the generous donations of toys and food.

“I thank the Salvation Army, its volunteers and everyone who has donated to this wonderful appeal.”

Ms Collins said the Gillard Government had invested in a range of programs to reduce financial stress for vulnerable Tasmanians over the festive season.

“In Tasmania, we are investing $5.5 million over the next three years for community organisations, including the Salvation Army, to deliver our emergency relief program,” Ms Collins said.

“This helps people in financial crisis deal with their immediate needs, including food, clothing, transport, chemist and food vouchers, rent, utilities, and sometimes cash.

“The Salvation Army has helped more than 5,600 Tasmanians needing emergency relief services in 2010-11, including around 750 at the Clarence Doorways Centre.”

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Christmas Cheer Appeal, visit the Salvation Army website or call 03-6370-0300 or your closest Salvation Army Centre.