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Help the Salvos Give Hope to Thousands of Australians in Need this Christmas

19 December, 2012

This year, 25,000 Australian families will be homeless at Christmas time. To assist with this significant need for help, The Salvation Army has commenced their annual Christmas Appeal which aims to raise $16 million nationally before Christmas day. The Salvation Army is working hard to ensure that the spirit of Christmas can be shared with families such as this and, importantly, they can feel hopeful about the year to come.

50% of the clients that present to The Salvation Army for assistance will not be able to afford presents for their family members for Christmas. Nearly 30% of these people will not have a decent meal on Christmas day. 41% of these people will be lonely this Christmas. The Salvation Army will provide gifts, food hampers, vouchers and material aid to ensure that as many people as possible have a Happy Christmas in 2012.

Over the Christmas period, more than 100,000 Australians will come to The Salvation Army for assistance. With increased costs of living and ongoing financial hardship and stress, many people will feel like it is almost impossible to celebrate Christmas the way most Australians are planning to. Making a donation to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal is a great way of sharing the spirit of Christmas with families in need and giving hope for the festive season and the year ahead.

'Christmas is our busiest time of the year, we see three times of the number of people seeking our help in December than any other month of the year. But with the generous support of Australians, we have the privilege of being able to share the joy of Christmas with others,' said Netty Horton, spokesperson for The Salvation Army.

'We are appealing to all Australians to give generously. In the past we have had an amazing response to our Christmas Appeal and although there are many feeling the pressure of an unstable economy, we are confident that people will dig deep to help people in their community having a really tough time,' said Ms Horton.

'We know that the amount of homeless people in Australia has increased by 17% since 2006. The number has grown to 105,237. This is a significant amount of people that will not have a place to go on Christmas day. The Salvation Army is doing all it can to bring some comfort and hope to as many people as possible this Christmas,' she said.

Donations to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal can be made by visiting www.my.salvationarmy.org.au or by calling 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).

For further information or media comment please contact:

Major Neil Venables
Territorial Headquarters, 95-99 Railway Road, Blackburn VIC 3130
Tel: 03 8878 2400

Captain Craig Wood
Divisional Headquarters, 27 Pirie Street, New Town TAS 7008
Tel: 03 6228 8422, Mob: 0402 256 318

South Australia
Rod Reeve
Divisional Headquarters, 39 Florence Street, Fullarton SA 5063
Tel: 08 8408 6937, Mob: 0437 842 238

Western Australia
Warren Palmer
Divisional Headquarters, 333 William Street, Northbridge WA 6003
Tel: 08 9260 9506, Mob: 0417 909 964

Northern Territory
Major Peter Wood
Divisional Headquarters, Level 2, Suite C Paspalis Centrepoint, 48-50 Smith Street, Darwin NT 0800
Tel: 08 8944 6000, Mob: 0458 600 242