The Gift of Joy in triplicate

Thousands of people have helped make 2020 a lot brighter for people finding it tough in the community.

On Monday (February 24) three local charities were each presented with a giant cheque for $14,000 by the chairman of the Christmas in the Hills organising committee, Peter Spencer, and fellow committee member Hugh Olivier.

A total of $42,000 was raised by the 8th annual Christmas in the Hills event held at Bella Vista Farm on December 11 to support Foster Care Angels, Hills Community Aid and Learning Links.

Mici Beer, Executive officer Hills Community Aid thanked the organising committee saying the fundraising was the icing on the cake: “It’s an absolutely fabulous event for the community, it’s an event people really look forward too.”

She said Hills Community Aid, which provides numerous services including no-interest loans, would use the money raised to help the most vulnerable families in the Hills community.

Kelly Doyle from Foster Care Angels said: “Thanks to the amazing generosity of CiTH and The Hills community, we were able to purchase and deliver hundreds of Christmas gifts to foster children living in crisis accommodation.

“Some children said it was their best Christmas ever.”

Foster Care Angels has also set aside money form the donation to use towards a new supported housing program called, The Launch Pad, assisting young people forced to exit foster care when they turn 18.

“The program includes safe, subsidised housing, counselling, education and employment pathways, and essential life skills training,” she said.

Don Tilley from Learning Links said the early intervention organisation was planning to work with Bella Vista Public School through parent workshops, teacher professional learning and general service delivery for children with learning difficulties.

Peter Spencer said there had been tremendous feedback from the community after the Christmas in the Hills event which had families at its heart.

“It is wonderful to see the joy on children’s faces at this family event.

“To be able to provide a great family event and help three deserving charities working in the community is a real gift for all of us on the organising committee.

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