Christmas 2020 was always going to be really hard for everyone and especially the vulnerable in our communities. As always, a crisis exacerbates vulnerabilities, and the vulnerable in our communities are impacted more severely and take the longest to recover. As a team, we were focussed on trying to ensure that we could bring Christmas to as many people as possible. Despite being limited to online giving and not being able to meet in person as a church we were determined to be able to reach more people than ever with our Christmas hampers.
Our goal was 7000 food hampers with enough meals in them to make over 40 individual meals plus lots of fun treats that families might not be able to add to the table this year. We wanted to bring some normality back to Christmas in a pandemic year and we knew the people of our church were incredibly generous not only with their finance but their time as we aimed to pack thousands of hampers and toy packs across 6 different states and multiple cities!
The amazing report is that for the first time in recent memory we exceeded our goals! We were able to put together 7,159 food hampers for vulnerable people and because of our focus on hampers, and increasing the number of items in them, we were able to give away 72% more items than we did in 2019 with a total of 144,504 items being donated by our church to our community. This equates to over 280,000 meals across Australia. And combined with our food hampers that we were able to create this year as a church we have been able to give 640,780 individual meals across 2020.
So this is a huge thank you on behalf of the families who received those hampers and toy packs. Thank you for putting others first this Christmas, thank you for making it possible for so many children to have gifts and treats this Christmas. Thank you to all of you who donated, whether it was small as a can of tomatoes, your donation made a real difference!
Below is a sample of all some of the thank you’s that came in after our deliveries this year.
“To get a hamper that the families can use and put towards a Christmas dinner means so much to us. Without the support of people like you and services like Hillsong, the Non For Profit organisations in the area would definitely be struggling. You really may think this is a small gift from Hillsong but having these hampers makes a difference. So one again Thank you to the team at Hillsong sooooo much!!” Tribal Warriors Aboriginal Corporation
“I delivered one on Friday to a mother with two children, 14yrs & 8yrs. The family have a long history of exposure to Domestic Violence. They have now escaped from the Domestic Violent situation, but are still being stalked by the perpetrator and as a result are suffering financial hardship. She appreciated this hamper very much” Southern Youth and Family Services
“Raphael from Community Migrant Resource Centre in Parramatta called me to share how thankful they were for the hampers. He said that they gave them out to the residents of their housing units and there were tears of joy and relief streaming down their faces. Raph said it took a lot for him & the Mission Australia team who were also there with them, to not start crying too. He said I know you must get thanked a lot but please understand that what you do makes such a big difference to these people, they have so little and this has changed their Christmas” Community Migrant Resource Centre, Parramatta
“First of all a big thank you from all of us at the ASRC Community Food Program for the incredible Christmas boxes. They are beautifully presented and the contents are just the perfect balance of nutritious food and a bit of festive fun. We look forward to distributing them through our Foodbank next week.” Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Melbourne
Head of Social Justice, Hillsong CityCare