At Christmas time Gethsemane Community works on creating hundreds of personalised gifts for 875 people in seven boarding houses, 25 aged care facilities to which boarding house people have gone to, 14 group homes, 2 interim supported facilities and to 26 people living independently with support.
These gift parcels consist of a complete range of toiletries, two pairs of socks and lollies. Boarding house residents also receive two pairs of underpants. Women receive a cosmetic bag with moisturiser and make up while men receive shaving gear. Some may consider these items not much of a gift but they mean a lot to the people who often never receive anything, and find that their basic belongings always wear out and disappear. To receive a personal gift which is the right size and really useful gives them a sense of personal worth.
Some schools and groups help by purchasing the items or donating money. The main wrapping and distribution point is here at Gethsemane House but we also work with seven schools who collect items as well as pack and deliver the Christmas presents to boarding houses and aged care facilities in the Sydney region.
At all locations, the wrapping involves many hours of organised volunteer labour and care to ensure that the personal touch is not lost in the wrapping or the delivering of the Christmas parcels.