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Christmas spirit alive and well at Sovereign Hills

The Hastings’ community spirit has shone brightly this Christmas despite a year challenged by bushfires, drought and a worldwide pandemic.

Sovereign Hills was delighted to share the Christmas love with three wonderful local organisations which have been working tirelessly to ensure local families and children facing hardship don’t miss out this festive season.

They included The Salvation Army Port Macquarie, YP SPACE and the Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre which between them are preparing 260 Christmas hampers filled with food, essential items and surprises for all ages.

Port Macquarie Neighbourhood Centre coordinator Julie Trowbridge welcomed the delivery of Sovereign Place IGA Christmas cakes, puddings and chocolates, as well as a wide range of children’s books, activity packs, games and back to school items for more than 50 Hastings families.

“Some of the children we assist would not be able to receive a gift if it wasn’t for this community effort. The families we give hampers to each year are overwhelmed by the support,” Julie Trowbridge shared from the Dodds Street headquarters.

A donation of gift vouchers to YP SPACE, assisting children through family breakdown, and domestic and family violence, will allow 50 children aged 12 to 25 years to hand pick the items they need the most this Christmas.

“Food, practical items, phone credit – that phone is the only way they can contact their friends and family,” explained YP SPACE Youth Inclusion Plus Worker Deb Tougher.

“For a lot of these young people they’re not going to receive gifts off their family, so when they get something like this – no matter how big or small – they’re very grateful; there are a few tears and it makes them feel there’s someone out there who cares and that’s important.”

The Salvation Army Port Macquarie headquarters has prepared 160 hampers filled with toys and food items (and thanks to Sovereign Hills – toiletries and gift vouchers) for Hastings singles, single parents and families this Christmas.

Major Kevin Unicomb described the feeling of handing one over to a family with eight children.

“It feels really good and understanding that family can’t look after that part of their lives themselves, that often the income they get only just manages daily life, so it allows them to have a special Christmas,” he shared.

“We just want to thank Sovereign Hills for their continued support. We can add that little something extra for the parents or teenagers who might otherwise miss out each year because of your support.

“We also couldn’t do this without the support of the community and it’s been really evident right through the bushfires and through COVID that the way the community has supported each other this year in Port Macquarie and other areas has been fantastic,” Major Unicomb finished.

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