Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Spreading Christmas Cheer to vulnerable Tasmanians

The Parliamentary Secretary for Community Services, Julie Collins MP, today thanked all Tasmanians for giving generously to those in need this Christmas.

Ms Collins today visited The Salvation Army’s Clarence Doorways Centre in Howrah to help wrap gifts and hand out food and toy donations received from the Centre’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.

“It is wonderful to see how many donations have been made and how the Tasmanian community has joined the Christmas spirit of giving,” Ms Collins said.

“Christmas is a time of celebration but for those who are struggling financially, it can be a time of loneliness and isolation.

“The Christmas Cheer program will ensure that this festive season will be a joyous occasion for many families and individuals who may otherwise have felt they did not have a reason to celebrate.

“It will give children toys to unwrap on Christmas Day and parents a festive meal to share with their family.

“I thank everyone in the community who has contributed gifts and food to this wonderful program by placing them at the Kmart Wishing Tree, the ABC Giving Tree, the Motorcycle Riders Association Toy Run and the Examiner Newspaper offices. It means that this festive season can be a time of celebration for more families.”

Ms Collins said the Gillard Government greatly valued the work of the Salvation Army across Tasmania.

“The Gillard Government is providing $1.7 million to The Salvation Army in Tasmania this financial year to fund a range of services under the Financial Management, Family Support and Community Investment Programs,” Ms Collins said.

“At the Clarence Doorways Centre, the Gillard Government funds Money Management, Financial Counseling, and Community Projects, such as Promoting Positive Parenting to build strong and more resilient families. Doorways also enables pathways to education, training, volunteering and employment to shift people of out poverty.

“I was really pleased to hear that some Centre volunteers and employees were once former clients, evidence of a successful service and the impact it can make on individuals,” said Ms Collins.

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