16 December 2022

How you can help others in need this festive season

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Happy little girl donating Christmas gifts at charity toy drive

There are many ways you can do your bit this Christmas for people in need. Photo: File.

For some Canberrans, Christmas this year won’t be about festive lunches, movie marathons, gifts from Santa, and quality time spent together.

Christmas can be a tough time and often one where people can’t be with their loved ones or can’t afford to do things that many others do to celebrate.

If you have thought about helping others but you’re not sure how, we’ve created a list of some local charities and organisations that you can support to help make someone’s Christmas merry and bright this year.

Ronald McDonald House

Support a family in need this Christmas with Ronald McDonald House. Photo: Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald House

For most families around the globe, the holiday season is about spending quality time together, giving gifts, feasting on lots of food, and creating beautiful memories.

When it comes to the families of ill and injured children and premature infants, all they want is to be close to their child in the hospital.

To help make a family’s Christmas easier and more memorable this year, why not donate to Ronald McDonald House? On average, it costs $132 per night to support a family’s stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Canberra.

They are seeking donations to offer families 100 nights of accommodation with food and gifts to provide a ‘home away from home’ for sick kids to celebrate Christmas and spend the night together.

A donation of $150 will allow a family to be next to their sick child in the hospital, as well as provide support for them throughout the holiday season, however any donation big or small would be much appreciated.

If you’re able to help out this year and help make Christmas for a sick child special, donate here.

Canberra Hospital Foundation Givemas

It’s beginning to look a lot like ‘Givemas’. Photo: Canberra Hospital Foundation, Facebook.

Canberra Hospital Foundation

If supporting your local hospital and giving sick children a memorable Christmas is something that interests you, why not get involved with the Canberra Hospital Foundation’s ‘Givemas’.

Givemas is all about donating gifts to children and their families for Christmas. Click here for the children’s, teens’ and adults’ Givemas gift wish list.

You can also get involved in the Canberra Hospital Foundation’s 2022 Christmas Appeal, where you can generously donate funds to go towards clinical trials and medical research in Canberra, therapeutic and supportive programs, transformations of ‘away from bed’ areas, and the purchase of speciality medical equipment.

To make a donation to the Christmas appeal, click here.

Lifeline Canberra trainer Alisha Tarrant hard at work. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Lifeline Canberra

Every week a life is lost in Canberra due to suicide, and every day Lifeline Canberra telephone crisis support workers strive to do their best to prevent more.

If you’re wanting to help save lives this Christmas, donate to Lifeline to help them continue running their services, recruit people to their team, and provide training and ongoing support for their volunteer crisis support workers.

Unfortunately, Lifeline Canberra doesn’t have enough resources to answer every call, however with a donation of $26 (the cost of a Lifeline phone call), you can contribute and save a life.

To donate, click here.

Christmas dog

Keep all members of your family safe this summer, including your pets. Photo: RSPCA.


The RSPCA is all about rescuing animals, caring for them and keeping them away from animal neglect and cruelty.

This year for Christmas, the animal charity is calling on Canberrans to sign up and become ‘Guardian Angels’ to donate whatever they can, as they are unfortunately seeing more severely underweight and neglected animals that desperately need help.

To become an RSPCA Guardian Angel for a dog, cat or other animal, click here.

You can also show your support to Vinnies this Christmas by visiting any of their Canberra stores. Photo: Daniella Jukic.


As the cost of living continues to increase, it leaves many Aussie families under stress and struggling to survive.

Vinnies is asking Canberrans to help provide urgent relief to families in need who are doing it tough this Christmas by providing donations to their Christmas appeal.

All donations made, big or small, will go towards providing food for families, in the form of food vouchers and hampers, and relief from piled up bills.

To donate to Vinnies’ Christmas appeal, click here.

mother holding baby

Karinya House is deeply grateful for Canberra’s support. Photo: Karinya House.

Karinya House

This Christmas, Karinya House is seeking donations to support women and babies in need.

With a target of $40,000, Karinya House needs your help.

Click here to donate.

item list for The Little Pantry Christmas Appeal

Photo: Woden Community Service, Facebook.

Woden Community Service

Support Woden Community Service’s food pantry this Christmas as they aim to raise $10,000 to go towards buying food and personal items for those in need.

The Little Pantry is an emergency food relief service where anyone in the community can go to in times of need.

It is located at Woden Community Service, at 26 Corinna Street, Woden, and is open weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm. Click here to donate to The Little Pantry Christmas Appeal.

women ready to hand out the essentials bags

Even though donations of handbags have closed, you can still donate towards giving women an essentials bag this Christmas. Photo: Share the Dignity.

Share the Dignity

If you’re looking for a way to support disadvantaged women this Christmas, then get involved with Share the Dignity’s ‘It’s in the Bag’ Christmas appeal.

This involves donating $49 towards an essentials bag, $99 for an ultimate bag, $199 for a mum’s bag or donating your own amount, which will go towards providing a woman with a handbag full of women’s essentials this Christmas.

By sponsoring a bag, you will then help at least one more woman receive a bag of essentials this Christmas. Since 2016, a total of 726,303 have been donated.

To sponsor a bag and make a donation, visit It’s in the Bag.

people collecting present for Christmas appeal

You can donate food, toys, various gifts and money to the Communities at Work Christmas Appeal. Photo: Communities at Work, Facebook.

Communities at Work

The Communities at Work Christmas Appeal is all about helping those experiencing hardship who need that extra bit of support during this time of year.

Whether you want to help individually, as a business or as a community, you can make a donation to help make someone’s Christmas a memorable one this year.

Donations can include food, gifts, toys and money to go towards helping both children and adults.

To get involved with the Communities at Work Christmas Appeal, you can make a tax deductible donation, host a virtual giving tree online where people can donate, send a gift card, purchase toys and various items, or even use your social media to spread the word and get people donating.

Click here for the list of suggested items you can purchase to be donated. To find out more about getting involved in the Christmas Appeal, visit Communities at Work.

Orange Sky volunteers

Volunteers provide friends with access to free laundry, warm showers and genuine conversation. Photo: Supplied.

Orange Sky Australia

If you’re looking for a way to ease the load this festive season for those in need, then donate to Orange Sky Australia.

They are a charity known for providing Australians in need with free laundry washing services and allowing them to have access to warm showers. Their focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community. If this sounds like something you’d like to support this Christmas, then donate here.

Are there any other charities and organisations we missed? Drop them in the comments below.

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