I can hardly believe Christmas is almost upon us once more. The decorations are up and there’s an undeniable sense of anticipation in the air. I’m sure it will be a joyous time for you and yours.
At my Foundation we’ll feed more hungry people than ever before. I like to think of it as a Christmas miracle.
In fact, our big Christmas Day lunch will be served from four different locations across Sydney this year.
Thousands will descend on my Foundation’s Ashfield precinct, but we will also serve many more at Campbelltown, Liverpool and Lethbridge Park.
Indeed, more people will need us this Christmas than I can ever remember. Thankfully, the miracle of your support will help us feed them all.
This Christmas is going to be especially tough for the increasing number of Australians living in poverty. Every day I see the impact of the economic slowdown and high inflation on the vulnerable – it hits them especially hard. Where they just kept their heads above water before, now they are drowning in a sea of rising prices. These Aussies have no hope of putting Christmas lunch on their tables.
What’s more, there are increasing numbers of people living below the breadline. Research from ACOSS and UNSW reveals 3.3 million Australians live in poverty1. So you can appreciate why Christmas at my Foundation is going to be busy.
With your help we make a real difference. Jenny is a single mum whose kids spend Christmas away from her. I’m sure you can understand how difficult that must be. Jenny celebrates Christmas with us so she’s not alone. I keep an eye out for her and each year we have an emotional reunion.
I’m determined to make this Christmas special for even more people like Jenny. There will be ham and turkey, as well as Christmas pudding and bon-bons. Each of our four Christmas Day sites will be bursting with kindness and that is something you’ve helped create.
Santa will be there to give presents to the children. I love seeing the joy on their faces when they tear through the wrapping! It’s a Christmas miracle in itself and an affirmation of everything we do; spreading kindness and making sure no one misses out.
Christmas at my Foundation is full of magical moments like that. I wish you could be here to share them with me; like the gratitude of a mum whose kids are having the time of their lives, or the rough sleeper who discovers a community of Christmas kindness he never expected. One homeless man said to me, “At Christmas, love is all that matters”. That’s surely the true meaning of the season.
Of course our fleet of food vans will be taking our Christmas cheer on the road too. They will deliver hot Christmas meals to the streets where the homeless and the forgotten live. Our food vans enable us to share the spirit of Christmas with even more Sydneysiders.
Me and my team can only make all this happen with your generous support. Without you, Christmas would be a miserable time for the poor and the homeless.
So I pray your Christmas is full of joy, and also that you can share some of your kindness with those less fortunate. Your special donation can bring the spirit of Christmas to thousands, so please give generously.
Rev. Bill Crews