Charities call for help

IN NEED: St Vincent de Paul Society's Hetty Binns and The Salvation Army's Alison Best rattle an Empty Stocking Appeal tin. Picture: Scott Gelston

IN NEED: St Vincent de Paul Society's Hetty Binns and The Salvation Army's Alison Best rattle an Empty Stocking Appeal tin. Picture: Scott Gelston

Launceston charities are preparing for the busy season.

And they need all the help they can get.

For more than 100 years, The Examiner has run The Empty Stocking Appeal, which raises money to be distributed to the city’s main four charities: The Benevolent Society, The City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, and The Salvation Army.

The appeal sees donations of all shapes and sizes – from a child’s hard-earned pocket money to hundreds of dollars from community organisations.

The Robert Fergusson Family Foundation has just made its donation for the seventh year in a row.

The foundation made a donation of $8000, bringing its total amount donated to more than $40,000.

A foundation trustee said it was the wish of the late Robert Fergusson, a prominent Launceston businessman, to encourage philanthropy within the city’s businesses.

The City Mission’s Brian Roach said a sum like $2000 would enable the charity to assist about 20 Launceston families bring some Christmas cheer to their lives.

He said for some parts of the community, it was always a struggle to try and make ends meet during the festive season.

“Try living on $460 a fortnight, by the time you pay your rent and bills, there is not a lot left over for anything else,” Mr Roach said.

Launceston Benevolent Society chief executive officer John Stuart said appeals such as The Empty Stocking made a big difference to the charity’s work within the community.

He urged the public to spare what they could to help bring “a little festive cheer to those doing it tough”.

St Vincent de Paul Society of Tasmania Northern regional manager Hetty Binns said the call for help appeared to be greater this year.

To donate to The Empty Stocking Appeal, visit The Examiner’s Launceston office.

Recent donations: Anonymous $200, anonymous $200, anonymous $200, The Glen Life Group $100, The Monday Girls, $175, Lions Club of Kings Meadows $1000. New total: $16,168.60.

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