Your essential guide to what’s on in Canberra this weekend! Every Monday for more than seven years,…
As we start planning our Christmas, it’s a good opportunity to stop and reflect on those in our community in need—especially after the year we’ve had.
Whether you want to demonstrate your gratitude to your favourite charity for their role in helping Canberra get through the year, or help to spread the Christmas cheer to someone who needs it most, we have you covered.
We’ve compiled an alphabetical list of local charities to make it easier to give back to your local community this holiday period.
AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS BLOOD SERVICE
Donating blood to the Australian Red Cross Blod Service is a great way to give without having to spend a dime.
Due to COVID-19, donations have declined this year and therefore, blood and plasma donations are worth their weight in gold.
Where to donate: Find your local donation centre at donateblood.com.au
Banardos do incredibly important work in our community in foster care and finding safe havens for neglected children and children in dangerous situations.
Where to donate: Their 2020 Christmas appeal is now accepting donations at donate.barnardos.org.au/donate-now/invisible
COMMUNITIES @ WORK
Communities @ Work supports over 20,000 people in the Canberra community every year—the vulnerable and disadvantaged, low-income families, the homeless, women and children fleeing domestic violence, at-risk youth, the frail aged and people with disabilities.
Here are three ways you can help support Communities @ Work this Christmas:
- Food: Donations of non-perishable food items to fill the Christmas hampers they give out to families.
- Gifts: For many people around Christmas time, gift-giving can prove a huge financial stress. Communities @ Work’s Christmas Caves in Tuggeranong and Gungahlin provide clients with gifts they can hand-pick for their family. Children’s gift donations are always appreciated but so are those for teenagers and adults.
- Financial Donation: A monetary donation is always greatly appreciated.
Where to donate food and gifts: Communities@Work Tuggeranong (Tuggeranong Community Centre), 245 Cowlishaw Street, Greenway (open Mon-Fri, 9 am – 4 pm) and Communities@Work Gungahlin (Gungahlin Community Centre), 47 Ernest Cavanagh Street, Gungahlin (open Mon-Fri, 9 am – 4 pm).
Donate online at: commsatwork.org/get-involved/donate.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRISIS SERVICE ACT
This year, DVCS ACT is asking the community to help them with purchasing the items that their clients require. Items available to purchase include vouchers for groceries, petrol, mobile phones and credit, movie and entertainment vouchers, lock changes and safety alarms.
Where to donate: dvcs.org.au/get-involed/events
GIVIT is a not-for-profit that links donated items such as household goods with the right charities (over 3000 across Australia!) and people in need. GIVIT ensures all goods are sent to the right place, reducing waste and unnecessary donations.
There are a few different ways to donate to GIVIT:
- Donate pre-loved goods: GIVIT matches donated items with those in need, so you can be sure they’re going to the right place. Click here to see what items are needed right now.
- Donate money: Donate money towards a specific cause, including those affected by bushfires, severe storms, COVID-19, support for Indigenous peoples and their communities and those affected by drought. Click here to donate.
- Donate your time: GIVIT volunteers are matched with local organisations that work with GIVIT. Register your interest here.
HUNDREDS FOR THOUSANDS (SALVOS)
It’s a tale to warm the heart of any Christmas grinch. A Gungahlin mum of two who decides to raise $10,000 for 100 families in just three weeks—and smashes her goal, raising $16,000 for those in need during December 2019.
Now, one year on, Natalie Tanchevski is aiming higher—and she needs your help to get there.
Hundreds For Thousands is a fundraising drive that aims to gift $100 grocery vouchers to families in need this Christmas through the Salvos—but with less than two weeks left of fundraising, Natalie is calling on Canberrans to help them reach their goal of $100,000.
Where to donate: hundredsforthousands.salvationarmy.org.au.
Marymead supports the ACT and surrounds with high-quality family support services for children, young people and their families.
Christmas can be a difficult time for many vulnerable people and services such as counselling spikes in demand.
This December, Marymead wants to raise $50,000 to fund 640 free counselling sessions for children and young people.
Where to donate: You can help this Christmas by donating to the appeal at donate-aus.keela.co/donation-form-christmas-appeal.
Every week, we lose another Canberran to suicide. And every day, Lifeline Canberra telephone crisis supporters prevent the loss of many more.
It only costs $26 to save a life—and that is exactly what Lifeline Canberra is asking you to donate.
Where to donate: lifelinecanberra.org.au/donate
Sadly, Christmas time is a time where food goes to waste while others are starving. Around five million Australians, are experiencing food insecurity, with demand for food relief services increasing by more than 20% across the country in the last year.
In response to this growing demand, Woolworths customers are being encouraged to purchase a meal token starting from 50 cents during the Woolworths OzHarvest Christmas Appeal, to help OzHarvest feed an Australian in need.
Where to donate: Buy a meal token online woolworths.com.au/shop/discover/community/ozharvest
RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES
Ronald McDonald House Canberra provides a home away from home for regional families who have seriously ill children. Their goal is to keep families close to one another this Christmas and offer loved ones comfortable accommodation during a time of need.
Volunteers ensure the House is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They go above and beyond to ensure their ‘Big Red Doors’ continue to stay open for families in need this Christmas. You can help by making a financial donation, volunteering or hosting your own fundraiser.
How to donate:
- Financial donation: Help keep the Ronald McDonald House doors open this Christmas and donate online
- Volunteer: Anytime you can spare in any capacity will be greatly appreciated. Find out more about local volunteering opportunities online
- Host a Fundraiser: Bring people together this Christmas with a fun and meaningful way to raise money and transform the lives of the families who are in need of help. See more online
Roundabout Canberra was founded as a way for parents to donate pre-loved baby and children’s items—think clothing, toys and prams. They link pre-loved items with families in need and help reduce the strain on new families—and reduce waste in the process.
There are three ways you can donate to Roundabout Canberra:
- Donate goods: Find a comprehensive list of accepted items as well as drop-off times here
- Donate money: This helps Roundabout Canberra purchase essentials such as cleaning supplies to clean donated items and gift consumables such as nappies and creams to new parents. Donate money here.
- Donate your time: New volunteer applications are always welcomed. See the guidelines for applying to volunteer here.
Become a guardian angel for an animal in need by making a donation or gifting a donation to a friend, you become an RSPCA Guardian Angel. Have a furry friend of your own?
Treat your furry friend to a Christmas present from the RSPCA with proceeds going towards helping animals in your local community. Or you could tick off an item that the RSPCA needs this year by purchasing off their online wishlist.
Where to donate:
- Become a Guardian Angel: rspcaguardianangel.com.au.
- Purchase a present for your pet: rspca-act.org.au/retail-store
- Buy off the wishlist: rspca-act.org.au/get-involved/wishlist
BE A STARLIGHT WISH-GRANTER
This Christmas, Starlight Children’s Foundation is giving Canberrans the opportunity to gift a child experiencing adverse health a sense of joy. Help to make wishes a reality this Christmas.
Where to donate: starlight.org.au/about-us/what-we-do/wishgranting
ST VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY (VINNIES)
What to donate:
There are hundreds of reasons to give. You only need one. By making a donation to Vinnies, you’re helping a Canberran family in need this Christmas.
From care packs for the homeless to a Christmas hamper or paying the bills for a struggling family, there’s a lot that your donation can achieve.
- $65 – Can feed a parent and child for 3 days.
- $340 – Can cover monthly utilities, allowing more money for food.
- $450 – Can cover essentials, bills and food for a week for a family.
- $1,400 – Can help with rent, removing the threat of homelessness.
Where to donate: donate.vinnies.org.au/christmas-appeal
THE AUSTRALIAN RED CROSS
The Australian Red Cross allows you to buy a gift that can create more change this holiday season. Every gift is a path closer to being back on their feet. You can purchase items such as “food on the table” and “letter to find family”.
Where to donate: gifts.redcross.org.au
THE SMITH FAMILY
For many disadvantaged families, Christmas presents are a luxury they can’t afford. Many children in poverty go without the things they need for school, and Christmas can be a really tough time.
Choosing one of The Smith Family‘s Charity Gifts means that you’ll be bringing a smile to a little face on Christmas Day, to someone who might otherwise have nothing under their tree.
Some gifts include a $25 toy pack for children (with different packs for different age ranges), or a $140 family toy and book pack. For those who can, there’s also the option to sponsor a child.
For $52 a month, sponsorship will provide a child with the learning essentials they need like books, stationery and data.
Sadly, COVID-19 has caused the biggest disruption to education ever seen in Australia, and we don’t want students living in disadvantage to fall even further behind.
Where to donate: charity-gifts.thesmithfamily.com.au/all-gifts