What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Christmas’? Decorations maybe, or a Michael Bublé album, or a big Christmas family meal? Wherever your imagination takes you, we can all agree that Christmas is a time of family and community coming together.
Last year, the people of Arana Hills Church of Christ set out to help families and individuals within their local community with Christmas Hampers. The idea was to make 50 hampers filled with goodies that would bring value and love into the homes that the hampers went to. By the end of the endeavour, they were able to give out 132 hampers to families and people in need!
It was no small effort, and they knew from the beginning they could not do it alone. So, Arana Hills Church opened doors to opportunities for the community to be involved. People from everywhere donated all sorts of items, but they were also invited to join in on the packing experience. Parents brought their children, young people brought their friends, and the community came together as initiatives like these are much easier to achieve when we do them collectively.
This year, Arana Hills Church partnered with Hills Collective, a collaborative collection of individuals, schools and organisations who exist to collectively use their resources to meet the needs of the Hills District. Together, they envisioned for this year’s appeal to ‘Bring Christmas Home’, hoping to once again help as many people as they could. This year a staggering 150+ hampers have been packed to date, a great collaborative effort by all!
Collecting donations and packing the hampers is one side of the project. Identifying the people and families to give them to is the other. To do this they go to their community again, partnering with local school Support Services and Chaplains. The schools give the church a number, and the church gives that many hampers to the Chaplains to give out, building on the trust and relationships already formed by their care.