Cash donations are urgently needed to assist the Christmas 4U community lunch to be held at the Dubbo Civic Centre on December 25.
The event has grown enormously since it began in 2001 and although resources are stretched to the limit, organisers plan to cater for record numbers this year due to increased community demand.
According to Christmas 4U chairman Reverend Chris Pope, about 300 people shared the inaugural meal.
“Numbers grew to 550 last year and this time we’ll be providing for upwards of 600 people which will be quite a challenge as there’s not a lot of cash on hand because our financial buffer disappeared last year when the lunch ran at a financial loss,” Rev Pope said.
“Christmas 4U is not a money-making enterprise – we don’t charge for tickets, although those attending are welcome to make a donation if they wish or are able. Tickets are given freely to those who would otherwise miss out on a Christmas celebration. Guests experience festive food, good company, entertainment and share the spirit of Christmas.
“Over the past four years the event has been attended by old people and young people, families and singles, locals and travellers. Social and economic status is irrelevant.
“The lunch has met an enormous need, not just for those experiencing financial hardship or living in dysfunctional relationships, but for all who are sad and alone at Christmas.”
Community-minded people interested in helping should contact Reverend Pope at the Dubbo Baptist Church on 6884 2320 or Sandra Robertson from The Smith Family on 6884 5575.
While cash donations are most urgently needed, the organising committee hopes businesses may also be able to assist with large-scale donations of produce or opportunities to purchase goods at reduced cost.
The committee is also looking for flexible, non-judgemental volunteers to assist with the organisation of Christmas 4U.
“We’re looking for people to act as table hosts, to work in the kitchen or lend a hand in any number of behind-the-scenes roles,” Rev Pope said.
To volunteer call Lee Hickey on 6882 2310.
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