Thursday, 11 February 2010
Kingston Electorate: Voluntary Organisations
I rise to talk about some of the great work that is done by local organisations in my electorate. In particular, I would like to speak about the work done over the Christmas period. We all know that Christmas is an important time for a lot of families to get together, but for those families that struggle and those families that do not have enough money or are living in poverty Christmas can be a very distressing time, perhaps because they are not able to get together with families, put a Christmas lunch together or buy presents for their kids. When this need exists, there are organisations that really step up to the plate and help those families that might be struggling to have a great Christmas.
I was very pleased to visit the Salvation Army at Noarlunga, where they were putting together packages for local people who needed some assistance. What was really lovely about how the Salvation Army put together presents is that they do not impose on people what presents their children might want. Instead, they assist parents by getting them to come in and look at what is available and let them choose what presents they would like for their children. I think that was very empowering, although it was quite overwhelming for some parents. They were so overwhelmed perhaps by gratitude that this process was in place and also because so many people had donated presents such as toys that they could choose from and ensure that their children had a great Christmas.
Similar things happened at Anglicare at St Hilary’s, which is just around the corner from my office. I also attended there and helped them distribute both food hampers and presents. Once again there were a lot of needy people. We know last year was a tough year for many, despite Australia doing very well. Certainly the people in my community were very grateful that these local organisations stepped up and ensured that they had a really fabulous Christmas. I commend the work that they do. Other community organisations put on Christmas carols and events that people could come to free of charge so that the community could come together in the Christmas spirit. These events were all run by volunteers, and I would like to congratulate those volunteers for making Christmas a very special time for many people.