The countdown to Christmas Day is underway at Samaritans with staff and volunteers busily preparing for the return of Christmas Lunch in Singleton at the Senior Citizens Centre on Christmas Day.
With Christmas only weeks away, Samaritans are calling for the whole community to be involved as a donor, supporter, volunteer or a guest to guarantee the Lunch's success again this year.
"We are so grateful for the support and encouragement each year from the local parish, returning volunteers, sponsors and supporters as well as guests when we host our Christmas Lunch. We're really hoping this year the rest of the community will get on board with us," Event Coordinator, Kim-Cherie Davidson said.
Samaritans are looking for help from individuals, businesses and organisations to be part of the community lunch in the Heart of the Hunter.
"This event is only possible with the generosity of locals getting in to support those who need it at Christmas. There are so many ways everyone can be involved in the Lunch," Ms Davidson said.
Support for this year's event has been confirmed by BHP, Mt Owen Glendell Operations, Yancoal and Thiess as sponsors; The Bloomfield Group, Club Singleton, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Rural Resilience Program, Singleton Council and Majestic Cinemas as event partners and several in-kind sponsors. However, there are still opportunities to be a donor, supporter, volunteer and most importantly, a guest.
Before the big day, you can help by donating money, time, food, presents or spreading the word that the Lunch is on 25 December, 11am to 1pm at the Senior Citizens Centre.
"Come down to the 12 Trees of Christmas competition from Thursday, December 19 to Saturday December 21 at the Singleton Centre, formerly known as the SingletonTown Square and cast a vote for your favourite tree and leave a gold coin donation. Or volunteer to help set up for the Lunch on 23 and 24 December."
Then on Christmas Day be part of the Lunch as a volunteer or guest.
"We still need volunteers to help out on the day - with face painting, taking photographs, cleaning up, packing down and transportation," Ms Davidson said.
Samaritans provide a free lunch, entertainment, a gift and company as well as a visit from Santa to those who may otherwise be unable to celebrate Christmas.
"We go the extra mile at Christmas time. Our Christmas Day Lunch ensures everyone is included in the joy, connection and celebration of the festive season. We do this by partnering with local people to make it all happen.
"Christmas is a time that no one should spend alone, and our Christmas Lunch is a way to spread festive cheer amongst the local community. All are welcome to attend the festivities. After all, Christmas is about generosity, so the more the merrier."
Christmas Lunch in Singleton will be held at the Senior Citizens Centre on Christmas Day, from 11am to 2pm, and all are welcome to attend.
To be part of Christmas Lunch in Singleton as a volunteer, donor, supporter or sponsor contact Kim-Cherie Davidson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile phone on 0427 867 969.