GIVING THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS: Tanya Errey and Councillor Kaye Maguire with Annalise Booth and Karyn Newman from the Target Country store in Chinchilla which is just one of the hundreds of Target stores helping raise money for struggling Australian families this year.
GIVING THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS: Tanya Errey and Councillor Kaye Maguire with Annalise Booth and Karyn Newman from the Target Country store in Chinchilla which is just one of the hundreds of Target stores helping raise money for struggling Australian families this year.

Easy ways you can give back to your community this Christmas

EVERYONE knows when it comes to Christmas, the real fun happens when you give.

December is a great time for reflecting on how you can help those less fortunate, whether you donate your profits from recycling or foster an animal over the festive season, there are an abundance of easy ways to help out that don’t take long and won’t break the bank.

Here are six ways that you can give back to your community this Christmas:

1. Recycle your containers for a community cause

Why not collect your extra drink containers this Christmas and donate your change towards a local cause such as Rotary, Lions, or Apex? It may only be a couple of dollars but with all the extra beverages soon to consumed this festive season, it can really add up.

For charities and organisations who put every dollar they raise towards making the Western Downs a better place, this could mean a couple extra hundred dollars in the kitty.

So drink up and remember to save the titanium pull tabs from your cans for Chinchilla Lions, who have them recycled and use the funds to purchase new wheelchairs for the less fortunate.

Turn your Containers for Change into cash donations for local clubs and charities this Christmas.
Turn your Containers for Change into cash donations for local clubs and charities this Christmas.

2. Give gifts that keep on giving

From unwanted gifts to wasted food, Australians receive over 20 million unwanted presents each Christmas.

Instead of giving a standard gift to a family member or friend that they may not like, make a donation in their name to a charity like Drought Angels.

This year the team at Drought Angels have come up with a clever way to avoid hundreds of unwanted presents of socks, jocks and handkerchiefs being gifted around the nation.

Put down the pack of 7-day undies and get in contact with Drought Angelsto arrange a donation and receive a paper bauble to give your loved one with the details of the donation in their name.

3. Donate to a clothing or toy driv e

Instead of waiting for spring to roll around, try cleaning out unwanted clothes and household items at the start of summer to help out those less fortunate at Christmas.

Western Downs charities such as the Salvation Army, ADRA and Kup of Kindness provide a great opportunity to donate something small that could make a family’s Christmas brighter.

Even better, funds raised in the Chinchilla Kup of Kindness op shop goes towards running their brand new mobile food trailer and soup kitchen, which is launching this Friday, December 13 down at the Fuller Place from 9am.

This time of the year is always tough for animal carers and rescue shelters.
This time of the year is always tough for animal carers and rescue shelters.

4. Foster an animal

Not all animals can be adopted by families as soon as they reach an animal shelter.

Christmas is unfortunately a time when shelters and rescues become inundated with new animals to care for.

If you have a pet friendly home why not help out a furry friend and become a foster carer with one of the many rescues around the Western Downs?

Not only does this help animals to prepare for a more permanent adoption, fostering animals will help out local animal shelters who are quite often at full capacity.

5. Add a little bauble to make a big difference

Right now UnitingCare Australia and Target are raising funds to provide emergency relief and support to thousands of people doing it tough this Christmas.

The simple act of buying a $1 bauble at the check out can make an incredible difference to Queenslanders in need and will help 40 families in the Western Downs region have a merrier Christmas this year.

You can purchase the $1 gift tag baubles at any Target stores around the country until Christmas Eve, Tuesday, 24 December.

A koala named Lisa from Pappinbarra recovers from burns at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire across Australia following catastrophic fire conditions in recent weeks, killing an estimated 1000 koalas along with other wildlife. Photo: Nathan Edwards.
A koala named Lisa from Pappinbarra recovers from burns at The Port Macquarie Koala Hospital. An estimated million hectares of land has been burned by bushfire across Australia following catastrophic fire conditions in recent weeks, killing an estimated 1000 koalas along with other wildlife. Photo: Nathan Edwards.

6. Get crafty for injured koalas

Severe bushfires are currently affecting the Australian nation and leaving many koalas burnt in their path.

Currently koala hospitals are overflowing and are in desperate need for help.

Byron Bay local Morgan Leigh has started her own Rescue Craft Collective initiative to create blankets, wraps and mittens for injured koalas.

To help out Rescue Craft Collective is asking Aussies to donate new or lightly used 100% flannel cotton sheets or even get crafty and create their own crocheted items.


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