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Australian Charity responds to heightened needs amid cost of living crisis

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Friends with Dignity responds to heightened needs amid the cost of living crisis this festive season. 

As the holiday season approaches, Friends with Dignity, a vital domestic violence support charity, is intensifying its call to the community for donations and gifts. 

This year, the urgency is underscored by the escalating cost of living crisis, leaving more families than ever in precarious situations. 

“Our world has been through a tumultuous time, and the echoes of the Covid pandemic still resonate through our communities,” said Manuela Whitford, CEO of Friends with Dignity.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented rise in homelessness and financial struggles. This is not just another festive season; it’s a critical period where our support can make a real difference,” added Whitford. 

The charity’s annual Christmas Toy Drive, “Gifts for Friends,” is now more than just a collection of toys. 

It’s a lifeline for adults, teenagers, and children affected by domestic family violence and those grappling with financial hardship across QLD, NSW, WA AND VIC. 

“Domestic violence peaks during the holidays, making our mission even more urgent,” Whitford adds.

“But it’s not just about toys or traditional gifts. This year, we’re adapting to provide what’s truly needed – be it a fuel voucher, food, or the simplest of joys that bring comfort.”

Having donated over 5000 gifts in the past years, Friends With Dignity is adapting its approach this season to meet the diverse needs exacerbated by the economic downturn. 

The focus is on personalised support, ensuring that every individual and family feels the spirit of Christmas. 

The charity encourages local workplaces, schools, and communities in the Gold Coast and beyond to participate in collection drives or to make online donations. 

“Our goal is to ensure no one feels alone this Christmas,” said Whitford. 

“Every donation, big or small, can light up someone’s holiday and remind them they’re part of a caring community.” 

Donation Tiers for the Christmas Appeal: 

  • $10: Gift for a child 
  • $20: Gifts for siblings 
  • $50: Gifts for a family of 4 
  • $100: Gifts for a large family 
  • $250: Gifts for two families 
  • $500: Gifts for an entire refuge 

Friends with Dignity invites everyone to join this cause and help bring joy and dignity to those affected by domestic and family violence this holiday season. 

Related: Friends with dignity launches 13th round of Little Friends Scholarships

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Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.

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