The festive season has officially arrived at Taree’s Manning Mall and that can only mean one thing - the Target UnitingCare Australia Christmas Appeal.
Shoppers can purchase Christmas bauble tags from the checkout at Target Taree for $2.
These are then hung on the Christmas tree at the front of the store. All funds raised will help disadvantaged people during the Christmas season.
Alternatively, wrapped presents can be left under the tree.
Pastor David Freeman is the Taree representative of UnitingCare and is tasked with collecting the gifts.
He said the gifts will bring joy to many local families this Christmas.
“Over the many years we’ve been distributing to those in need, we have met so many families who have been so grateful for this small assistance.
“Often it has only been one or two gifts we have been able to distribute to each family. However, that makes a real difference to them.
“There’s plenty of needy people and we love to help them each year at Christmas time in conjunction with Target,” Pastor Freeman said.
Pastor Freeman and a group of volunteers wrap and distribute the gifts directly to people in need in the area.
This includes Taree, Wingham, Chatham, Old Bar, Hallidays Point, Forster-Tuncurry, Nabiac, Lansdowne, Harrington, Coopernook and Gloucester residents.
Pastor Freeman encouraged those who need assistance this Christmas to reach out.
“Many of the people in rural communities are often overlooked.
“Many of them are severely disadvantaged - particularly in these drought years.
“We rely on their neighbours and friends to let us know of their plight so that we can get to them in time for Christmas.”
UnitingCare is one of the largest providers of community services in Australia and has more than 1640 service sites nationally.
The organisation employs 50,000 staff and is supported by 30,000 volunteers.
UnitingCare Australia and Target have partnered in the appeal for the last 26 years.