Time to give to our vulnerable children

EVERY year there are children in the south-west who rarely enjoy the magic of Christmas.

In an effort to address this, the MacKillop Family Services Gift Appeal will provide presents for south-west children living in care.

HELPING HAND: MacKillop Family Services area manager Cameron Burgess accepts a donation from Cooper Ferris. Picture: Anthony Brady

HELPING HAND: MacKillop Family Services area manager Cameron Burgess accepts a donation from Cooper Ferris. Picture: Anthony Brady

MacKilllop Family Service’s carer recruitment and development officer Tania Ferris said there was often a lot of emphasis on families and the importance of being together at Christmas time and it could be a difficult time for children in foster care.

She said the appeal was a way to offer a sense of belonging to about 60 south-west children currently in care through MacKillop Family Services.

She said children that come into care often arrive with very few belongings.

“They might arrive with a plastic bag with a few things inside,” she said.

“It’s one way to help the kids feel a sense of belonging and a sense of identity.

“We also try to support the foster carers too.”

Ms Ferris said teenagers were often forgotten about in terms of donations to the appeal and vouchers for local businesses was a good option for them.

“They can spend their own voucher at a local business,” she said.

“This can also create a sense of independence for the young people.

“We want to support all our local kids. 

“That’s from Warrnambool to Portland to Hamilton.”

People can donate an unwrapped gift or voucher under the MacKillop Family Services at 202 Lava Street Warrnambool and at the Maryknoll Centre in Hamilton.