For City Mission client Denice, if she didn't ask for help, her kids would have had nothing to open on Christmas Day.
She was one of 23 new clients who sought assistance from the charity over the festive season for the first time, after one of the most difficult years in recent history.
Fortunately there was help to be found, with this year's Empty Stocking Appeal raising $124,733.
The funds will now be shared evenly between Northern Tasmanian charities City Mission, the Salvation Army, Launceston Benevolent Society and St Vincent de Paul.
Peter Freak, City Mission's general manager of social enterprise, said the funds enabled them to support the community's most vulnerable through what should have been a joyous time for everyone.
"Some lost their jobs just before Christmas, others were retrenched early in the year as businesses folded due to the pandemic," he said.
"In the month of December alone City Mission's family services did 262 interviews for emergency relief, supporting over 650 people."
Throughout the appeal individual donations ranged from $6 to up to $12,000, with some new and longtime supporters returning to once again help the cause.
Benevolent Society chief executive Rodney Spinks said the appeal's success was another reminder of just how well the community responds to a crisis.
"To end what has been such a challenging year with this level of generosity and support is very uplifting," he said.
"Although we all hope this year will bring an end to the pandemic, the fact is for many, the hardship of life will continue and with the help of the funds raised from the Empty Stocking Appeal, the Launceston Benevolent Society will still be there to help people through the hard times.
"With the recent decrease in the JobSeeker coronavirus supplement we will see demand for assistance continue to increase over the coming months so these funds will be so important to help meet that demand.
"We thank The Examiner and everyone who supported the appeal for this magnificent result."
Kevin Lumb, the Salvation Army's area officer for Northern Tasmania, said the organisation had seem many in the community who had been adversely affected by COVID-19.
"Some who have lost work for a large portion of the year, particularly those working casually in hospitality and entertainment," he said.
"Although things improved towards the end of the year, many are still trying to catch up with accumulated bills and expenses.
"Others, such as temporary visa holders and overseas students, have been left with little or no financial support, and have had little or no means by which to feed themselves or pay rent."
Now in it's 112th year, the funds raised far exceed the target of $80,000 set by The Examiner when the appeal was launched in November.
They also build on the more than $119,000 raised in last year's Winter Relief Appeal.
Vinnies' state president Mark Gaetani said this year more than ever there people were facing increased challenges in their daily lives.
"As one of Australia's longest-running charity appeals, The Examiner has been encouraging its readers to donate to the less fortunate in our community for over 100 years," he said.
"In today's values the appeal has provided more than $2 million to charities such as Vinnies so we can offer assistance to the homeless and distribute emergency relief, support, and food to people and families in need.
"On behalf of the St Vincent de Paul Society and everyone who will receive assistance, I would like to thank The Examiner and everyone who donated to the 2020 Empty Stocking Appeal."
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