Many gifts don’t come with a price tag. It would be easy in today’s consumer culture to dismiss those presents as less valuable. However, this is usually not the case.
Things like your time and some kind words – written or said – can be amazing gifts to the right people.
Donating some time to charity can also be a great way to achieving perspective during Christmas.
Our Mission Team are behind a project that blossomed from one woman’s desire to do just that – give something back to people less fortunate than her.
Arts in Action
It all started when an aged care resident, Norma, told Liz of a deep and unfulfilled desire to give back to others.
That was back in 2015 and since then we’ve distributed thousands of Christmas hampers to people in need over Christmas.
Each year the Mission Team coordinate the program called Arts in Action. It is a collaborative project where the VMCH community comes together to create hampers filled with festive treats that are distributed to customers who benefit enormously from some Christmas cheer.
The hampers are packed and delivered by VMCH staff members and volunteers, with items donated and purchased through fundraising and staff giving
Months before this, residents at our aged care residences and disability services create thousands of items including decorations, soaps, notepads and pens. The process is popular amongst individuals who benefit from social connections, a sense of purpose through giving to others, hand dexterity, joint movement and mental stimulation.
Balwyn affordable housing resident Michael Cutler said he was thrilled to have received a hamper over the years.
“We all (residents) really appreciated the hampers and were very pleased to get one. I think it means a lot to a lot of people, especially if they’re alone (around Christmas).”
There is a beautiful saying that goes a bit like this …
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind always.”
That sentiment is even more meaningful during Christmas when the signs all around us tell us that life should be plentiful, joyful, and full of fun, family and friends.
However, for some people, it is not a joyful time and sharing a bit of kindness with them can go a long way.
Could that be a path to peace at Christmas?