Each year Christmas can be anything but joyful for our young people. While you are enjoying your Christmas lunch, opening presents and spending time with loved ones, I ask that you spare a thought for those who will not experience the joy of Christmas this year.
For many, Christmas is a time to spend with family, in a safe home, exchanging gifts and recharging the batteries for the year ahead. But for many more, it is an unbearable reminder of everything they don’t have.
Many of my young people won’t wake up to presents under the tree, be given a delicious lunch, or be able to spend quality time with loved ones, but we are trying to fix that. At Youth Off The Streets we have been collecting food for hampers, as well as gift cards, so that our kids have the chance to receive a gift and delicious food to make a joyful Christmas a reality.
The gift of giving to our disadvantaged young Australians is more than just material presents and food. When I give our kids these gifts, I see their faces light up. They are so happy to be given something where before they had nothing, but most of all they are so happy to know someone cares about them and wants them to experience what Christmas is about – giving to those less fortunate.
This Christmas, if you have the means, consider donating a gift card or donating directly to a Charity that helps less fortunate people. It can brighten the day of someone that is constantly being reminded of what they don’t have.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year.
Father Chris Riley
CEO and Founder at Youth Off The Streets