Northern Tasmania awash with giving spirit

Northern Tasmania, you deserve a big pat on the back.

Earlier this week, The Examiner Empty Stocking Appeal reached its $60,000 target.

As the week drew to a close, that target was surpassed in the most fantastic way.

At the time of writing, the appeal’s total stands at more than $85,000. That’s quite a feat for a 109-year-old appeal.

While when The Examiner launched the appeal, it gave an end date of Christmas Day, donations will continue to be accepted after Christmas.

The four Launceston-based charities that receive equal portions of this total still need financial assistance to help their clients well into the new year.

City Mission, St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, and the Benevolent Society are the benefactors of the appeal.

Each charity will go on to help countless Launceston people have a Christmas that they can be proud of.

It’s a testament to the strength of the Launceston community that $85,000 can be raised in less than four weeks.

It is demonstrative of the empathy and selflessness that underpins the community. These are values that The Examiner sees every day, and is pleased to champion.

While the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season can prompt some Grinch-like behaviour, The Examiner has been pleased to see kindness still shines through.

In the past three weeks, the editor has received several letters relating to “random acts of kindness”.

People who have fallen in the street have been helped by passersby, and in one case, had their dog taken care of for the day while they attended medical appointments.

An elderly woman who found herself driving a car with a flat tyre was rescued by a young mechanic-in-training, who swapped over her tyres and had her on her way in “under 10 minutes”.

While many parts of society do call these events “random acts of kindness”, it would appear that in Launceston, they are just normal events.

Northern Tasmanians, and Tasmanians in general, do not think twice about helping out a fellow person in need, whether it be a hand up, or a donation when times are tough.

As we move into the Christmas and New Year period, we should remember that spirit, of giving and compassion, for it is a far more meaningful gift than any other.