Christmas this year will be different. The pandemic means lots of us will be apart from loved ones. While for those lucky enough to have friends and family nearby, the Christmas cheer will be tempered by the tough times. Imagine how Christmas must be looking for the poverty-stricken and the homeless.
In spite of COVID-19, I am determined they won’t miss out. While Christmas will be different this year I want to assure you that we’ll still be there for the poor and homeless.
We typically begin preparing for our big Christmas Day lunch in July, but needless to say our plans had to change. Social distancing rules mean this year there can be no crowds. And the long tables where thousands of people would have eaten have had to go. Indeed, we’ve had to rethink Christmas Day 2020 so it can be COVID safe. This is especially important because many of our guests suffer chronic illnesses which make them extra vulnerable to COVID-19.
I’m proud to say that your ongoing support has enabled us to rise to the challenge! This Christmas we’ll still have ham, turkey and pudding for everyone, but the meals will be served as takeaways. It’ll be a COVID safe Christmas.
We’ll also have COVID-marshals on site to guide our guests through. There will be hand sanitiser and we’ll distribute face masks to everyone waiting in the queues. We’ll also be open for extended hours to make sure no one misses out.
Of course Santa will still be there as well with presents for the kids. In spite of the pandemic it will be a great day and it’s all been planned in consultation with NSW Health authorities so our guests stay safe.
It will be a Christmas Day like no other, but one still filled with joy. The joy of giving, the joy of receiving and the joy of togetherness.
I’m sure you know that many poverty-stricken sick and disabled people also like to share Christmas Day with us. Sadly, this year most won’t be able to attend. So our food vans will deliver Christmas lunches with all the trimmings. Of course, it will all be kept COVID safe this Christmas.
We’ll also deliver Christmas lunch to the suburbs of western Sydney hardest hit by the COVID recession. Then, on Christmas night our vans will head back out onto the streets to give Christmas dinner to the rough sleepers of the inner city.
Because the pandemic has plunged so many people into poverty, this Christmas we’ll be feeding more of them than ever. People who once never dreamed they’d rely on us are now turning to us for help. I’m determined to give them a better Christmas and the dignity they deserve. So we’ll have food hampers for them with all the basics as well as some chocolate treats to make it extra special.
I’m determined to bring a little sunshine to the lives of the poor and homeless this Christmas. Indeed, without your help it would be a bleak festive season for them. That’s why I’m asking you to please dig deep this year.
My team and I will make sure thousands of needy Sydneysiders don’t miss out on Christmas lunch. In spite of COVID-19 we’ll give them a day full of joy and kindness. And all the while we’ll care for them and keep them safe.
We can only make a COVID safe Christmas with your kind support, and this Christmas it’s more important than ever. Without you, thousands of people in poverty would miss out. My prayer is that you have a joyful Christmas and that you are able to share your kindness with those less fortunate. Your donation will bring joy to so many this Christmas, so please give generously