Vinnies launch $250,000 Christmas Appeal to ease cost of living crisis.

Mark Gaetani, State President St Vincent de Paul Society (Tas)
Sam Grace, Youth & Community Manager, St Vincent de Paul Society (Tas)

The St Vincent de Paul Society has launched it Christmas Appeal across Tasmania. The 2022 appeal will focus on easing the cost of living crisis, which is affecting “too many Tasmanians”. The annual Vinnies Christmas Appeal raises money for people and families in need who would otherwise find it impossible to make ends meet at Christmas time.

St Vincent de Paul Society Tasmania State President, Mr Mark Gaetani, said the community would be truly shocked if they knew how many Tasmanians required the assistance of a charity to get through the Christmas, New Year, back-to-school period – many of them the in-work poor and low-income families who have never had to rely on a charity or ask for assistance from Vinnies before.

“We usually say we want to raise $250,000 for our Christmas Appeal, but this year – due to the cost of living crisis that is affecting the disadvantaged and low-income earners – many at risk of homelessness – we truly need to raise $250,000. A mountain of bills and costs arrive at the same time over the Christmas period and, sadly, due to the cost of living crisis more Tasmanians than ever need support from Vinnies and help from the community,” Mark Said.

“For most of us, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration; but for far too many Tasmanians there is very little joy and they cannot afford to celebrate. Everything comes at once! Utility bills arrive, rent falls due, back-to-school costs are just weeks away, then Christmas comes along. Christmas for many Tasmanians is becoming a luxury they cannot afford. Christmas isn’t one of joy, happiness, and celebration – it’s a Christmas of stress, guilt, and worry.

“The stress because this cost of living Christmas will bring them utility bills they cannot pay. They feel guilty because this cost of living Christmas they will be unable to give their families the type of Christmas many of us take for granted – a Christmas of giving, a Christmas of time with family and friends, a Christmas of relaxation and rejuvenation. They worry because this cost of living Christmas they don’t know how they will be able to pay the rent and feed their families.

“They need our help, so we ensure that every donation to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal finds its way to Tasmanians in need. Let’s start with the important stuff. A donation of $74 will provides nutritious food and Christmas fare so families don’t go to bed hungry. People still rely on medication over the Christmas period, so a donation of $116 will assist a family with prescriptions and medical expenses. A donation of $294 will go a long way to pay utility bills and all the other household costs that just keep mounting up. Last but not least, $857 will provide rental support to a family to keep a roof over their heads for a month this Christmas. No one wants to wake up worrying about being homeless or at risk of homelessness on Christmas morning.

“Vinnies is always grateful for the generosity of the Tasmanian community and the many businesses and schools that raise money and donate to Vinnies Christmas Appeal. We are particularly thrilled that IGA is partnering with Vinnies again this Christmas. IGA has supported Vinnies for 12 years and raised over $3.1m to help provide food and support to thousands of people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage. This year, IGA has donated $2,000 in IGA gift cards and is encouraging customers to make a small but vital $2 donation at the checkout to add to the initial $2,000 amount.

“We could not assist as many Tasmanians in need without these donations. $250,000 might seem like a big target, but we have done it before and now, more than ever, we need to do it again. Every donation helps – no matter how small, it will make a big difference,” Mark added.

Vinnies Christmas Appeal is open now. To donate, please visit the Vinnies Tasmania website: www.vinniestas.org.au, or donate at a Vinnies Store or Vinnies office near you.

MEDIA NOTES: The St Vincent de Paul Society was founded in Paris, France in 1833 by a 20-year old Italian student, Frederic Ozanam. Today, the Society operates in 153 countries and has over 800,000 members. Australia has over 60,000 members, dedicated to assisting people in need and combating social injustice. The Society started in Tasmania in 1899 when founders established a Conference in Launceston. From humble beginnings, the Society has grown to 25 Conferences within three Regional Councils across Tasmania. Each Conference undertake a variety of good works, the most recognised being the traditional Vincentian home visits and the annual CEO Sleep-out to draw attention to homelessness.

Media contact, Mark Wells: +61 414 015 966 (24-hours)
© St Vincent de Paul Society and MWPA.

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