Ballarat’s Christmas in July Appeal launched

THE time when the Ballarat community bands together to help those in the community in need is here.

The 3BA Christmas in July Appeal, an appeal for Ballarat’s leading welfare organisations, was launched yesterday at the Salvation Army Community Centre.

UnitingCare, Anglicare, the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul assist in providing the necessary resources to the disadvantaged in the Ballarat community.

Appeal director Peter Caligari said support for the appeal had grown over the years, but unfortunately so had demand, with 4500 families in the region needing welfare organisation support.

“The appeal is moving at 50km/h but the demand has been moving at 80km/h,” Mr Caligari said.

“But if people out there do their bit, hopefully we can help as many.”

UnitingCare welfare and support services manager Maree Drennan said demand for UnitingCare services always increased in winter, with people in need of food and warmth.

“The appeal makes an enormous difference as far as what we can offer, because they help us provide for the community,” Ms Drennan said.

She said a common issue UnitingCare saw was to do with the elderly not using their heating.

“Something we often see in winter is older people getting sick, because they don’t turn on their heater because their electricity and gas bills have gone up,” she said.

The appeal was launched by Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay, who said he had not been very aware of the appeal before becoming a politician but now followed its work along with the charitable organisations.

“I’ll raise it in Parliament next week. I’ll do my part to support the cause,” he said.

Mr Caligari said there were families in desperate circumstances that had no other options but to rely on welfare organisations.

“This year we need to raise more money because more family need our support,” he said.

Mr Caligari established the appeal’s trust 34 years ago and begun running the Christmas appeal. The Christmas in July Appeal started 13 years ago.

“We rely very heavily on the Ballarat community to support the initiative,” Mr Caligari said.

Donations can be made at 3BA, 56 Lydiard Street North.

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Helping launch the 3BA Christmas in July Appeal are Maree Drennan (UnitingCare), Pauline Prebble (Anglicare) appeal director Peter Caligari, Bernie Holloway (St Vincent de Paul Society) and Major Denise Ashby (Salvation Army).

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