Gethsemane works with appropriate State and Community agencies, in a form of practical partnership, when issues arise in regard to mental wellbeing.
Preparation of Christmas Parcels

Preparation of Christmas Parcels

October/November is a busy time as it is essential that the Christmas Presents are prepared in this time. December is left clear for the food parcels and the Christmas Cards which are a mammoth task on their own when this is the work of many volunteers and all the work needs to be coordinated through Gethsemane, while normal routine has to continue to function at the same time.

The Amcal Chemist at Marrickville has provided great support to the Christmas Project over a number of years. The staff contact suppliers and persuade them to donate or provide at reduced cost to Gethsemane about 200 each of a range of toiletries.Some of these staff have also personally assisted in the preparation and serving of lunch on Christmas day.

The shelves in the garage at the Gethsemane Community House are permanently allotted to the Christmas Project and the containers needed are stored there during the year. Some groups work elsewhere but it is a considerable task to prepare the Christmas parcels for the various groups many of which have special needs. In general one would think that everyone could receive similar packages of toiletries but some brain damaged people, for example, cannot receive any gels or liquids so their packages have to differ. The whole process has to be coordinated so, for instance, there are two places in the mountains with about 150 and more than 80 persons respectively and these packages would have to be prepared and transported at the same time.

The items donated by the schools and other groups are used in the parcels but there are never enough of some items. We always buy thousands of lollies, including sugar free varieties, for the parcels. we focus on good quality as these are often what the recipients look for first. We also have to buy items such as disposable razors, shave cream,deodorant and shampoo which are always needed.


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