Please support our 2020 Christmas Appeal
I think you would agree that COVID 19 has had an effect on everyone in Canberra.
Fortunately, we have been less affected in the ACT than in other states and territories. However, COVID has impacted on many in our community. At St John’s Care we have witnessed changes that we would never have guessed would happen.
We are just so grateful that we have had the continued support from people like you who have provided the funds to keep St John’s Care operating throughout the pandemic.
There has been some good news.
Due to the help from the ACT Government and OneLink some of our regular homeless clients have been provided albeit temporary places to live. This enabled them to keep safe and warm through winter.
Our regular clients, long term unemployed and on low incomes, have benefited from the increased Government support through Jobseeker and JobKeeper which has meant that they and have not needed as much help as previously.
You would think this means that we have had a downturn in the number of people we see.
Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Our hard working volunteers and staff have been kept very busy with a new group of people needing our help.
These are people who, due to COVID 19 lockdown, have lost their jobs, lost their businesses and, in some cases, their will to live.
These are people who never thought they would need to seek a helping hand.
Mike, a family man with a wife and two young children, came to us in August. In the space of a week he had lost his full-time job when COVID hit Canberra; his wife, who worked two days a week was also let go. A family in crisis confronted by the uncertainties of the future. Mike was overwhelmed by the problem of providing for his family. Would he be able to find a new job, how was he going to pay the mortgage?
Their small savings had disappeared. Mike was desperate when he came to SJC for help. We were able to give the family food, assist with some bills and referred them to Care Financial and Centrelink to help them get back on their feet. Mike also knows that he is not alone as SJC will support him through this difficult time.
Peter a young Aboriginal man came to St John’s Care after losing his job as the business he was working for was forced to close. The money he normally earned was sent to support his family in central Australia. Once his income stopped so did their money. He felt he was letting them down. How could they manage? He himself was lonely, not eating properly and on the point of becoming homeless as he could no longer afford his rent.
Because we have wonderful donors supporting St John’s Care, we were able to assist with some of his utility bills and give him food. The option of returning to his family became a reality when we offered to pay for his ticket to get back home to his family in the Northern Territory.
Life for most of us in Canberra is slowly moving back to what we call (almost) normal.
Here at St John’s Care we see a future for many which will be worse.
At St John’s Care, thanks to you, we are now assisting many people whose situations have changed dramatically.
JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments have been reduced. Many businesses have closed, and unemployment has risen.
We expect a greater number of people seeking our help than ever before. Uncertainty, hardship and anxiety is a reality for so many.
We need you to support our Christmas Appeal this year more than ever.
We know we will need to give out many more hampers than normal. The Christmas Present Room will be in high demand and our Christmas lunch different this year, as it is so important that we manage within COVID restrictions.
This year has been so tough, and we have certainly noticed the reduction in goods and donations normally received via our generous and hardworking church and school groups. With COVID playing havoc on services, collections and fundraising drives we are not as well stocked or financial as we would hope to be coming into Christmas. We really do need your help.
Acting Executive Officer
P.S. Please give as much as you can. Hopefully, one day we will look back on these times and sigh with relief that we all got through them by helping one another.
St John’s Care is always grateful for donations. If you’re able to assist…
Our website Donate
Name: St John’s Care
BSB: 702 389
AC No: 052 094 90
Credit Card by phone
Please call the office on 6248 7771
Please send to
GPO Box 219 Canberra 2601 ACT
Donations of non-perishable food and vegetables can be made between 9.30am – 2pm Mon-Fri directly to St John’s Care.
Donate toys or help us build a Christmas hamper
Help the children we support to end 2020 on a brighter note by donating toys to our St John's Care Christmas Present Room or items that will go towards building a hamper for families and people in need.
This year, St John's Care, Uniting Care Kippax, Communities at work, Canberra City Care, St Vincent De Paul Kambah, Gordon Community Care, University of Canberra and Woden Community Service are working together to make sure we can help as many people as possible during the Christmas season.
We will be using a booking system so that we can ensure that everyone in need of help at Christmas receives it. Bookings will commence on Monday 16 November and the St John's Care Christmas Present Room will open from Tuesday 24 November to Friday 18 December.
People experiencing financial hardship or need assistance can receive a hamper from one of the above eight organisations. They need to provide a Health Care or Centrelink Card that shows the members of their household to receive a hamper and gifts for those with children.
If you are donating toys it would be wonderful to receive educational toys such as Lego and outdoor toys such as footballs, skipping ropes, softball kits, etc. For teenagers the best gift is a gift card, e.g. Big W, Kmart and Ultimate Teen.
We would also appreciate your help by donating items that will go towards building a hamper for families and people in need.
Some suggested items are:
Milo / NRG / Ovaltine (small tin)
Tube or pkt of chips
Supermarket Gift Cards for people to purchase meat or other fresh items
Please drop items off at St John's Care Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 2 pm or place them in the blue bin outside the St John's hall Saturday and Sunday between 9 am and 4 pm.
Our Christmas Day Lunch is still in the planning stage because of Covid-19.