THE Salvation Army has launched its annual Christmas Appeal, aiming to raise $12 million to ensure Australians in need have the Christmas they deserve, particularly after a devastating year of bushfires, drought and COVID-19.

This year, the Salvation Army, through its frontline mission, have helped more than 80,000 people impacted by COVID-19, providing more than $10 million worth of financial assistance.

Although Christmas is a time of joy for many Australians, those doing it tough will find the upcoming festive season the most challenging and difficult time of the year.

Many Australians are living below the poverty line, struggling to afford the necessities.

This year will also see increased numbers of people spending the Christmas period alone due to the impact of COVID-19.

“Christmas is the busiest time of the year for our Salvation Army personnel, and we are expecting to see a large increase in demand for our services this year due to the challenges raised through drought, bushfires and COVID-19,” Captain Johnmark Snead said.

“We would ask you to support our Christmas Appeal this year, to help us leave no one in need this Christmas.”

At Christmas, the Salvation Army’s teams will distribute more than 30,000 hampers and vouchers, give out more than $1.3 million worth of gifts and toys, and support more than 50,000 families in need.

They will also provide more than 130,000 meals, more than 65,000 beds for those who need a place to stay, and provide more than 7,600 families with accommodation during the festive season.

“Anyone in need this Christmas can reach out to us by calling 0409 239 016 and we’ll do all we can to support you,” Captain Snead said.

“We don’t want anyone to go it alone this year, if you need food, gifts, financial support or are feeling lonely, please get in touch with us.

“After the devastating year that has been, it is more important than ever to look out for one another, to connect with each other and embrace the true meaning of Christmas.”

The Salvation Army is planning to have a number of COVID-Safe Christmas events and church services this festive season.

For more information about Salvation Army’s local Christmas activity, visit www.salvationarmy.org.au.

For financial and emergency assistance, contact the organisation’s national financial support service on 1300 371 288 from 9am to 5pm on Monday to Friday.

Donations to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal can be made at salvationarmy.org.au, by phoning 13 SALVOS (13 72 58), in person at any Kmart store, or rounding up your instore purchase at any Myer store.

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The Hobart Observer is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in and around the City of Hobart. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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