Published by Cobram Courier on 5 December, 2013.
This article also appeared in print on 4 December.
UnitingCare has again joined with retail giant Target to launch its Christmas giving appeal, Operation Santa.
The group has erected a tree near the entrance of Target Country Cobram, after a long process to identify local families who needed an extra hand to fill their Christmas stockings this year.
UnitingCare Cobram co-ordinator Bev Anderson has spent more than a decade making sure every child in the region gets a gift on Christmas morning.
Mrs Anderson said it was the Christmas joy that kept her going.
‘‘It’s wonderful to see the pleasure of the people who receive the gifts,’’ she said.
‘‘This year we’re expecting about 160 gifts, but it will be more than that because there will be people who come in last minute.’’
Operation Santa relies on local groups like St Vincent de Paul and Citizens Advice Bureau to refer needy families to UnitingCare, which distributes the donated presents collected at Target.
Mrs Anderson said there were also other struggling local parents who visit the program’s headquarters at Cobram Community House in the days before Christmas.
●Gifts can be donated at Target Country on High St, Cobram.