Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Chrissie Cheer Replaces Tears; Hard Times Bring out the Best in Us as Charities Flooded with Donations

Newspaper article The Northern Star (Lismore, Australia)

Chrissie Cheer Replaces Tears; Hard Times Bring out the Best in Us as Charities Flooded with Donations

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER WEEKES peter.weekes@northernstar.com.au

LAST Christmas, Sharon, a single mother of two, spent most of the day hiding from her children in her Casino home so they wouldn't see her tears.

"I just felt I was the worst mother in the world. I couldn't afford gifts for the girls, or even a proper lunch," she said.

This year, thanks to the kindness of strangers, she has presents for her two girls, aged 4 and 14.

Sharon, not her real name, is a recipient of APN's Adopt A Family drive. In her basket of goodies was food for the big day, play dough for her youngest daughter and make-up for the oldest.

"It's going to be nice to see them on Christmas morning unwrapping their gifts," she said as a smile found its way on to her weather-beaten face.

Sharon is not the only one to benefit from the charity drive.

All up about 2500 underprivileged families were adopted by readers of APN newspapers, including The Northern Star. And that's not the end of the story.

Charities across the region say that people are showing their hearts like never before, despite the dire economic times.

"Donations have been exceptionally good this year," Margaret Locer, the Richmond regional president of St Vincent de Paul said. "Incredibly they haven't been affected by the downturn."

David Chalke, director of social research company AustraliaScan, isn't that surprised.

He said that when things get tough, people think local, and charities serving local communities are the main beneficiaries.

Mr Chalke said that in previous years international charities like Oxfam benefited as Australians felt increasingly wealthy and wanted to help those in developing countries.

But with the collapse of the share market threatening jobs, this year people are more intent on helping their neighbours.

"During tough times when people are worried about their jobs, they tend to cocoon and part of that is looking after each other," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.