Demand for hampers delivered by the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal is expected to surge this year as a result of the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.
The annual appeal provides hampers for local families and senior citizens who need a helping hand during the Christmas festive period.
In recent years the appeal has delivered about 700 hampers, which provide basic meals and staples, requiring a fundraising effort of $70,000.
Cairns Mayor Bob Manning believes significantly more people will need a festive helping hand this year.
“This crisis has had an incredibly devastating impact on our city. Times are tough and people are hurting,” Cr Manning said.
“We are launching the fundraising much earlier than normal this year, we usually kick it off in October, as we anticipate that the impacts of coronavirus on the community will result in an increase in demand for hampers.
“We would ordinarily provide 700 hampers; I would not be surprised if we had twice as many people needing assistance this year.”
Cr Manning welcomed the support of local media, from newspaper to radio, television to marketing agencies, to spread the message and encourage people to back this year’s mammoth fundraising effort.
“Council is pleased to be partnering with 12 local media suppliers this year who are generously donating their services in-kind to help promote this campaign,” Cr Manning said.
“It’s all about locals helping locals and we are asking the community to dig deep, give generously and show those experiencing hardship that we care.
“Every cent donated to the charity goes to buying food supplies for the hampers.”
Official media partners donating their services include: Adhesive Communications, Adllins Media, Cairns Post, CityLife, Channel Nine, Cre8 Design, GoTransit Media, HitFm, Oasis Media, Pakmag, TripleM, and Yfilms.
Local media outlets from Grant Broadcasters, Win and Seven TV have also pledged support.
People can donate $65 to buy a family a hamper, donate $35 to buy a senior a hamper, or select a donation amount by visiting cairns.qld.gov.au/christmas.
Council works with 22 local charities and organisations to confidentially identify residents who are eligible of some festive cheer, including The Benevolent Society.
Manager of The Benevolent Society’s Early Years Centre in Cairns, Cassy Bishop, said the organisation was happy to again support the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Appeal.
“Last year we delivered 40 hampers to families in need and expect a much larger number this Christmas,” Ms Bishop said.
“Families have been hit hard during the current pandemic, and we hope to be able to support the appeal to help as many families as possible to have a happy Christmas this year.”
The list of supporting agencies is available on the website cairns.qld.gov.au/christmas, which should be contacted directly. Please do not apply directly to Cairns Regional Council.