COMMENT

No more 'I should', this is the season to give donations in the Upper Hunter

SUPPORTING LOCALS: Sue Milton (UHCS), Max Morris (Christmas Spectacular), De-anne Douglas (PCYC) and Lorraine Skinner (Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry).
SUPPORTING LOCALS: Sue Milton (UHCS), Max Morris (Christmas Spectacular), De-anne Douglas (PCYC) and Lorraine Skinner (Muswellbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

I WILL be the first to put my hand up and say that I have been selfish, lazy, or some mixture of the two over the holiday season in recent times - but that has to end now.

Each and every year, you will be made aware of the amazing work charities do while everyone else is celebrating, whether you're told about it by other people, hear it over the radio or read it online or in a newspaper.

It's inescapable, which is a good thing, because if nothing else it makes you think about it to the point that guilt begins to seep in if you don't give.

Obviously not everyone is in the position to donate, and with the drought and a downturn in spending at local businesses, even less people will be able to give up resources or funds.

This is why it is absolutely crucial that if you can give a donation, then do.

PCYC Muswellbrook's De-anne Douglas spoke at the December Chamber Breakfast on Tuesday, December 3, and gave a tear-inducing speech detailing how much their toy appeal means to those less fortunate in the area.

Tales of Christmas morning disappointments and devastating family circumstances were shared, although they all finished the same - with generosity and understanding producing some much needed joy.

Upper Hunter Community Services (UHCS) manager Sue Milton also discussed some of the important initiatives they had completed throughout 2019, and the opportunities that had been presented to struggling families during the likes of formal season.

No matter which organisation you're giving to the gift doesn't have to be special, the sum of money doesn't have to be large, it just has to be more than a thought bubble.

I've been guilty of that in previous years, using all the expected tropes, 'I'll do it next year', 'I'll wait till I have more money', 'there's others who can give before me'; although the most used excuse was probably 'I'm a poor uni student'.

That was barely even true, I was time poor maybe, but I was working 40 hours a week and seemingly still had the opportunity and funds to spend on alcohol and bad decisions each weekend.

But local not-for-profits such as the PCYC, UHCS and Red Door Community Kitchen - where Tuesday's meeting was hosted - have inspired me to never be that complacent again.

And their message needs to be shared with others, as these hard times see people that used to donate become the ones who need donations, it's going to take a broad community effort to ensure as few residents as possible go through the holiday season alone, cold, hungry or without something to put a smile on their face.

So please pick a charity and make a change to someone's life this silly season, not only will it be good for them, but you'll feel all the better for it too.

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