Generosity and joy
FAMILIES will be given the gift of joy this Christmas, thanks to the generosity of dozens of Lismore locals.
Now in its third year, the Family Support Network Inc (FSN) Lismore has supported 15 families in its 2018 Adopt-a-Family campaign.
FSN general manager Neil Moreton said the families were sponsored with strong support from donations of gifts from many individual families, as well as several local businesses and organisations.
Commercial sponsors included Lismore Embroidery and Apparel, Department of Education, St Vincent's Hospital Catering/Kitchen Team, Summerland Credit Union, Novaskill and Rooftech Roof Restorations and Mr Moreton said these organisations should be thanked for their generosity.
"To most people Christmas is always about celebrating with ones family and close friends. It is a time to reflect on the vital role that families play in our society,” Mr Moreton said.
"Unfortunately some families don't have a lot of support around them or are significantly disadvantaged, and Christmas can be a very hard time for them.”
FSN's Michelle Santin said they had a good response this year, and to see all of the donations was "absolutely fantastic”.
"It's a bit overwhelming, and I know this will help these more families than anyone would ever know,” she said.
FSN program coordinator, and self-proclaimed Christmas elf, Sarah Phoenix said she loved being able to play Santa and the program was "all about the gift of giving.”
"When people donate things, you can tell they feel good. The people who dropped off items all said they were very happy to do so. But it's so much more than just that feeling of generosity,” she said.
"For families, not being able to buy presents for children and loved one is extremely overwhelming and heartbreaking.
"But when people donate something as simple as presents to families who are struggling, it means you give them special moments that they would have never been able to have. It's something you can't describe. And nothing can beat that feeling.”
Ms Phoenix said, to the adopted families, the donations were more than just toys, food or necessities.
"That is a LOT of joy,” she said, looking at the pile of donations.
"And that's what Christmas is all about.”