The Christmas spirit was well and truly alive in Singleton on Christmas Day with 100 family hampers and 184 individual gifts given out to 214 guests at Samaritans Christmas Picnic Lunch.
Guests collected food and beverage hampers and gifts from the Singleton Showground on Christmas Day supported by 40 volunteers.
"At Samaritans, we go the extra mile at Christmas time. This year we created a COVID-safe environment by having an outdoor picnic with hampers, gifts, Santa and being able to be together, even though social distanced," Event Coordinator, Kim-Cherie Davidson said.
"The picnic means we were able to deliver much needed joyous greetings and Christmas sparkle whilst keeping the community safe. This Lunch ensured people who might be unable to celebrate Christmas are included in the season's joy, connection, and festivities. We did this by partnering with local people to make it all happen.
"Christmas is a time no one should feel alone, and Samaritans Christmas Lunch Picnic was the way to spread festive cheer across Singleton and surrounds in these unprecedented times.
"We're so grateful for the support from the local parish, keen volunteers, sponsors and supporters who ensured that the day was a great success for people who may not otherwise have been able to enjoy Christmas Day.
"Our guests were delighted with their food and beverage hampers, picnic blankets and gifts, as well as the Christmas cheer spread by our volunteers."
This year, the Christmas Lunch Picnic was due to major sponsors BHP, Mt Owen Glendell Operations - Glencore, Yancoal - Mt Thorley Warkworth and event partners NAA-Singleton, Singleton Diggers, Club Singleton, The Bloomfield Group, Thiess, Hunter Valley Operations and Singleton Council.
"This event is only possible with the generosity of locals getting in to support those who need it at Christmas" she said.
"There was so much giving right up to Christmas Day. We are thankful for the support of volunteers who willingly distributed the hampers, assisted with set up, pack down and much more - it really was a wonderful day for everyone thanks to the efforts of all involved."
Samaritans will return in 2022 for Christmas Lunch and will continue to provide support to the community throughout the year with various other outreach programs. Go to samaritans.org.au to find out more.
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