Cooktown businesses and community members are being asked to help spread the festive cheer to fellow residents in need this year.
Each year, the Cooktown District Community Centre (CDCC) organises the Christmas Hamper Appeal, collecting non-perishable foods to donate to vulnerable members of the community.
The can drive had been successful for many years now, but rising cost of living has made it more challenging.
“Unfortunately, the community wasn’t able to provide as much as they previously have been, and that is because cost of living is extremely high for everyone at the moment,” CDCC CEO Tracey Boulton explained.
She said that donations had dropped significantly since last year, so they extended the request to local businesses.
“It’s been terrific. Last year, we had very generous donations from local businesses which actually supported the entire drive,” she said.
“Without those additional donations from businesses and other not-for-profits, we wouldn’t be able to do it these days because it’s a really difficult time financially for everyone.”
The donation trolley is still at the Cornetts IGA this year for community members who are able to donate.
“The idea is that the community goes into the shopping centre, they buy a couple of extra cans and leave it there at the supermarket,” Ms Boulton said.
For the first time this year, residents can also help through the Containers for Change scheme. By quoting CDCC’s member number (C11106479), the cash exchanged for recycled containers will be donated to the Christmas Hamper Appeal.
“We’re trying to create really easy and positive ways for the community to make donations, so it’s not necessarily coming out of their weekly budget,” Ms Boulton said.
“They could recycle for the week and still make a great donation. It could be $10, it could be $20, in some cases it could be $50.”
The CDCC is a neighbourhood centre that provides services to those needing support in a number of areas, including food relief.
Christmas hampers will be donated to those known by the CDCC, but is also available for families who aren’t actively engaged with the centre.
“We can only deliver hampers to people that we know about, however if a family is not engaged with the CDCC and would like to reach out to us, then by all means, they can do that,” Ms Boulton said.
The CDCC is asking for all donations – financial, food and through the Containers for Change scheme, to be made by December 10.