Noosa Council is calling on residents to offer those in need a helping hand this festive season, with the launch of the inaugural Mayor's Christmas Appeal today.
"The level of need this year is so much greater due to COVID-19, and many of our charities too have been impacted by the pandemic. If ever there was a time to help, 2020 is it," Mayor Clare Stewart said.
"Your donation will help our charities to make sure those in need have food on the table and presents under the tree this Christmas."
The appeal calls for gift cards and other donations to Salvation Army Noosa, St Vincent de Paul Noosa, Santa's Classy Helpers and Youturn Youth Support.
Lorraine Kenway of Santa's Classy Helpers said this year had been tougher than most to keep up with the calls for help.
"It has been an especially difficult year for everyone and we haven't been able to raise all of the funds that we need to help all of our beautiful families that are in need this Christmas," she said.
"Through the Mayor's Christmas Appeal, we are asking the community for their generosity, the old saying it takes a village to raise a child – we all need to reach out to support each other."
Youturn Youth Support's Haig Deere said many people were struggling due to a loss of income and a challenging job market.
"For the many vulnerable young people and families experiencing hardship, a Christmas dinner simply isn't a possibility and the giving and receiving of gifts is an unaffordable luxury," he said.
Monetary contributions, food donations, presents and vouchers from local attractions and restaurants to give families an experience they'll cherish this Christmas are all welcome.
"I'm pleased to kick-start the appeal with $500 worth of gift cards, and I ask everyone who is able to join me in donating - any amount you can afford - to please do so," Cr Stewart said.
To find out what you can do to help, what the charities need most and where you can donate, visit Council's website – noosa.qld.gov.au
All donations to the appeal are appreciated. Please donate by December 18.
"Together we can make this Christmas a memorable one for so many in our community," the Mayor said.