Christmas wishes for more than 220 local children and young people have been placed on Christmas trees at Veritas House offices in Bathurst and Orange, and the local charity is calling on the community to help make this Christmas brighter for these special young people.
For the sixth year Veritas has again set up Christmas Wishing Trees in their offices at 98 Keppel Street and 96 Bentinck Street, Bathurst, as well as 29 Sale Street, Orange. Veritas House is calling on local residents to embrace the spirit of giving and purchase a gift for a child or young person who is either in Out-of-Home Care, experienced homelessness, or unlikely to receive a gift this year due to hardship.
“Each year we are overwhelmed by the generosity of the Bathurst and Orange communities in supporting our Christmas Appeal and we are hopeful the community will rally again to help us grant all the wishes on our trees,” said Veritas House Business Development Manager, Narelle Stocks.
“In previous years we’ve had parents bring their children in to select a tag and purchase a gift, so they could learn the importance of giving gifts, not simply receiving. We’ve also had businesses in the region replace their office Kris Kringle with buying gifts for our clients, which was a huge contribution towards filling our tree and providing gifts to all of the children in our care,” said Narelle.
There are several ways the community can contribute; the most popular being to visit a Veritas House office to collect a gift tag with the wish list of a child from the Christmas tree, and then return it by Wednesday 7th December with the preferably unwrapped gift. Alternatively, supporters can purchase a gift card for a local teenager or make a tax-deductible donation to contribute towards the purchase of a gift for a child via the Veritas House website: www.veritashouse.org.au/events/christmas.
In addition to the trees at Veritas House, Bathurst businesses Moodie’s Pharmacy in Howick Street and Anytime Fitness in George Street will once again have Veritas tags on their Christmas trees for customers to collect.
Over the past two years, the local service has been unable to hold their annual Christmas Party due to Covid but is looking forward to again seeing Santa distribute many of the gifts to local children, ranging in age from newborns to 18, who are living in Foster Care.
“Children and young people enter into foster care for a myriad of reasons, but generally they have experienced a degree of trauma, neglect and abuse that required intervention and removal for their own safety and well-being,” explained Narelle.
“Veritas House Foster Carers in Bathurst and Orange provide a secure, safe and supportive home environment to these children and young people, but there is no doubt that Christmas can still be a tough time, so our Christmas Appeal is an opportunity for local residents to bring some joy into the lives of these special children.”
Veritas House is a not-for-profit organisation that was established in the Central West over 40 years ago and has grown to become one of the largest providers of foster care, youth homelessness and family support services in the region, supporting more than 900 children, young people and families each year.