The Dubbo community has been asked by the Salvation Army to consider helping the 500,000 Australian children under the age of 10 who will be left empty-handed on Christmas Day.
As the “Salvos” launch their annual Christmas appeal, they say new Roy Morgan research is showing “the other side of Christmas”.
Roy Morgan surveyed 1007 people over the age of 18 in an online poll that ran from October 28 to November 2.
The results were then “projected up to the Australian population” based on respondents’ age, sex and place of residence.
The research suggests 8.4 million Australians believe Christmas is a “financial nightmare” and almost 500,000 children will likely go without a present on December 25.
For 1.8 million Australians, Christmas will leave them in “worrying debt”, while 2.4 million Australians are worrying about how they will cover costs.
The Salvos expect to help 70,000 families across the nation in the six weeks before Christmas and the “critical month” afterwards.
“When families end up in a situation where they cannot afford food or life’s necessities, they turn to the Salvation Army for help,” said Major Paul Moulds.
“At Christmas they do it in record numbers and this is why we need donations from the public.”
The research also reveals that 852,000 Australians are “almost always” lonely at Christmas and a further 1.1 million “often feel lonely” at Christmas.
A whopping 8.6 million Australians buy “way to much food or too much food” at Christmas and 13.2 million people believe the gap between rich and poor has been getting bigger.
“We are a nation known for standing by people in need,” Major Moulds said.
By donating to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal, you can give hope where it’s needed most by blessing families in crisis with a Christmas they could never afford to have.”
Visit salvos.org.au or call 13 72 58 to make a donation.
Christmas activities organised by the Salvos can also be found on the website.