‘Share the Joy, Give a Toy’ Christmas appeal for Bacolod

A Christmas fundraising campaign by the Good Samaritan Foundation hopes to put a smile on the faces of struggling children and families who have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

The foundation’s fundraising will support the Bacolod Good Samaritan Outreach Centre’s ‘Share the Joy, Give a Toy’ campaign. The goal is to raise $A6000 by December 15, 2020.

A gift of $A30 will purchase a Christmas food pack for a family and gifts for the children, delivered with love by the Sisters and their partners at the Outreach Centre in the Philippines.

The campaign is hoping to fill a gap in donations this year caused by the lack of school immersion groups visiting the Sisters’ centre.

Good Samaritan Sisters Anne Dixon and Grace Marcelo are based in Bacolod. “With Christmas around the corner, and our old and new needy families struggling more than usual, we are very keenly aware that we have had no school immersion groups this year,” Anne said.

“These groups would usually buy gifts for the children or leave cash to specifically help us at Christmas.”

Anne said in a normal year, they would have a number of immersion groups, including a couple of schools with students and staff, and another group of Good Samaritan Education staff, which comes every three years.

Benefactors from Japan usually visit each year as well as family and friends from Australia. Due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions, none of those groups have visited this year.

“These groups all leave us either with gifts already bought, or cash to buy what we need,” Anne said. “But because of the COVID-19 situation, which is not changing here much at all, we have been looking at alternative ways of getting support. Now, with Christmas approaching, this is our priority.”

The Sisters have launched a local Toy Drive campaign in Bacolod, building on the support they received when they launched a foodbank earlier this year to help people through the pandemic.

“With this campaign, we have posted on Facebook a call for new or pre-loved toys and we are also doing door-to-door campaigning around City Heights, with the aim of providing toys for about 600 families,” Grace said.

The Good Samaritan Foundation appeal, to be run in Australia, will support that local campaign by asking for cash donations, which will be used to buy toys and Christmas food packs.

“We already realise we cannot have our usual Christmas celebrations – COVID-19 restrictions as well as money restrictions, prevent this,” Grace said. “But we really appreciate any donations that can help buy gifts and food hampers for the families to enjoy.”

To make a donation to the ‘Share the Joy, Give a Toy’ campaign, click here. Donations over $2 are tax deductible in Australia.

The Good Samaritan Foundation was established in 1999 to provide ongoing finances and resources to the work established by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan.

Published in The Good Oil, November 2020.