Generosity overwhelming as Baskets of Joy overflow

By Ashlea Witoslawski

With Christmas Day just around the corner, families in need will soon receive essential items to help ease the stress of the silly season.

Determined to give families in the region the best Christmas possible, Shepparton News receptionist Flo Harris believes her office's haul of food and gifts is possibly the largest collected over the years.

The annual FamilyCare Christmas Appeal, supported by Greater Shepparton City Council and the Greater Shepparton Foundation, encourages local organisations to participate in the Baskets of Joy initiative, collecting essential items for those in need.

The organisation also runs a Wishing Tree to help families fulfil their children's gift wishes.

FamilyCare chief executive officer David Tennant said the support and generosity shown by the community had been extraordinary.

“Each year it seems to be slightly larger,” Mr Tennant said.

Presents surrounded the base of the tree. 

“Last year we had around 250 baskets and this year it looks like we are likely to top 300.”

Mr Tennant said it was wonderful to see families support others in the community, although he was concerned by the growing demand of those in need.

“There is a lot of excitement and happiness around this time of year, but there is also a good deal of extra stress for families,” he said.

“If we can do something small to make things a little calmer, that's a good thing.”

Extremely thankful for the support of the community, Mr Tennant said the FamilyCare training room was overflowing with items to be divided up for families.

“It's moving to see people just give with no sense of return for themselves,” he said.

“It feels like every year I'm having to find new superlatives to react to the generosity of the community.”


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