The countdown has begun till Christmas Day and while I do love this time of year, I often find myself saddened when I am reminded of all the young kids who will be alone without anyone to care for them this Christmas.
Every year there are many kids who spend their Christmas Day on the streets – they don’t have a home to go to let alone presents or a hot meal. Our homeless youth are reminded at Christmas of what they don’t have but it doesn’t have to be that way.
If you ask some of the kids Youth Off The Streets work with what they want for Christmas, it won’t be a new bike or the latest game. They will ask for somewhere safe to sleep. Someone to talk to. A hot meal. A shower. The little things that make you feel loved and wanted.
This year I’ll be handing out hundreds of hampers and presents across Australia to families who need it. Our Koch Centre for Youth and Learning is also holding a community dinner on Christmas Eve to show our support to the people we work with. Just the simple act of giving a Christmas meal can drastically change the holidays for families in need. Having a meal and someone to talk to gives them the opportunity to connect with others which is what this time of year is all about.
This year, when you are opening presents or having a nice meal with loved ones, I hope you can spare a thought for those who will not have a Christmas like yours.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Year and that 2019 brings you joy and happiness.
-Father Chris Riley