Christmas hampers giving families hope


​​​​​​​Preparing for delivery of BCE’s Adopt-A-Family Christmas hampers to families
 in need​​

​​BRISBANE Catholic Education ​staff have again dug deep during Advent to help 34 families doing it tough this Christmas.

Every year, since 2006, staff have rallied behind BCE’s Adopt-A-Family program, filling hampers with Christmas gifts and groceries for families who were experiencing hardships through domestic or family violence, bad choices or natural disasters

When Fr Wally Dethlefs shared the Adopt-A-Family story with BCE in 2006 the program was taken up, and 15 families received a Christmas hamper that year.

Coordinated by BCE Business Services Coordinator Helen Hartwig since 2015, the program encourages BCE staff to live out the Gospel values by promoting the dignity of every person.

Staff are provided with the first name, age and some details of the family’s situation.

This helped form a real connection with the “adopted family” rather than giving anonymous donations to unknown recipients.

When the hampers leave the Dutton Park office another band of helpers donate their time to deliver them to the adopted families.

Sue Treweek, who has helped Fr Dethlefs deliver the hampers to families, said she was amazed by the efforts of BCE staff every year

As a hamper recipient herself, Ms Treweek said the program reached out and gave a hand up to those who "life had beaten down".

“Through our efforts and unconditional no judgement giving we show neighbours, friends, community and families of our hamper recipient​  family's that there is hope," she said.

"That people are willing to share their faith with others with no strings or expectations attached."

Ms Treweek said among the 34 families receiving a hamper were eight who had lost everything in the recent bushfires.

She said Christmas was looking very bleak for them.

“But this is going to be a huge surprise,” she said.

“They don’t even know the hampers are coming.”

Fr Dethlefs said the generosity of BCE staff was extraordinary.

He said it always amazed him to see the reaction of families when they received the hampers.

“These people are disengaged from family, if they ever had one,” he said.

“Then these gifts come from people they don’t know, and it fills them with a feeling of wellbeing and contentment and helps them with their own dignity.”

“They feel like they are part of something bigger.

“And they always want to share their good fortune with others in the community who are also doing it tough,” he said.

Christmas hampers filled the Dutton Park Office staffroom during Advent

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