Our 2017 appeal to members for Christmas gifts for families resident in Glebe received overwhelming support this year. Thanks to Members whose response was generous we had a goodly number of gifts to distribute. Special thanks go to Jeanette Knox, Lucie Loane, Jenny Pockley, Bobbie Burke, Judy Vergison, Susie Cleary, Benedicte Zursthassen, Pat Loughlan, Lorel Adams, John and Diane Gray, Susan Ingram, Ted and Alison McKeown, Jock and Judith Keane, Jane Fissenden, Diane Hutchinson, Jane Gatwood, Jude Paul, Marita, Madeleine Jennings, Katharine Vernon, Phil Young and Carole Herriman for your support. The Giving Tree at our Christmas Party was also well supported.

Janice Challinor’s car, filled to the gunwales with generously donated Christmas gifts. (image: Janice Challinor)

The management and staff of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Hospital also joined us in responding this year, and their contribution was outstanding. In fact there was just sufficient room left in my Honda hatchback for me to drive the vehicle home after I had collected their largesse! The rest was crammed full of gifts. While I am unable to quantify the exact number of gifts we distributed (I stopped counting after 200) the number of families and singles, both men and women, we were able to distribute to was increased markedly.

We have been able to bring gifts to families and single persons at five Glebe supported housing services, as well as several local families in need, and contribute to the St John’s Christmas gift giving day for Glebe residents who attend Glebe Assistance & Partnership Program (GAPP). That’s a total of approximately 95-100 people, the majority of whom are children, who have benefited from our caring community. While privacy issues prevent me from naming other specific beneficiaries of this project I’d like to note that Elsie Women’s Refuge, an ongoing recipient of Glebe Society support, was chief amongst them. Similarly, it was a joy to bring some gifts to a refugee family, with seven children of varying ages and no father, living here in Glebe and otherwise doing it tough.

I am hopeful that Lifehouse, under the leadership of CEO Eileen Hannagan and Professor Michael Boyer, Chief Clinical Officer, with the support of Ray Lotty, their Spiritual Care Coordinator, Lorainne Brecard, the Manager of Volunteer Services and the wonderful medical staff will join us in future years to continue their outreach to the community they also serve and value. My personal thanks go to everyone who made this so special for others.