How to spread the love this Christmas by supporting your community

How to spread the love this Christmas by supporting your community

Words by Alice Ruby McDonald and photography by Obi Onyeador

It’s the time of year we all come together.

We all know Christmas is a time for giving, but how many of us actually give back to others instead of spending money on materialistic things and adding to our already overwhelming state of overconsumption? I certainly never thought about this until today.

So it’s time for a refresh on how we give this Christmas, so here is a one-stop-shop list for giving back to your community of Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula this Xmas.

Give Where You Live Foundation

Recognised as one of the most progressive foundations in the country, Give Where You Live Foundation is a unique, place-based philanthropic foundation for the community of Geelong. The foundation supports access to high quality education, access to sustaining and sustainable employment and promoting wellbeing and limiting a life crisis all acting as pathways out of disadvantage.

How can you help? Give Where You Live run through grant programmes so, a great way to show your support this festive season would be to donate what you can here. Another option is a corporate sponsorship at your workplace or to take a look at the volunteer programme.

Find out more about Give Where You Live here.

Geelong Mums

Bubbas not so little anymore? Geelong Mum’s are looking for donations of your baby supplies to help out single and struggling parents this Christmas.

Located in South Geelong, Geelong Mum’s run an appointment only donation service as well as being more than happy for donations of cash this Christmas. At the moment, they are in need of highchairs, play pens, stage one and two formula, clothes up to kids size 16, prams and shoes for children. If any of these are hiding in your attic, please book an appointment here.

There’s nothing more special than a happy and safe family on Christmas.


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This one is the one you’ve always been meaning to do and now is the perfect moment to get it done.

Donating blood saves lives. One simple act of courage donating blood, plasma or platelets ensures that everyone can be safe and potentially home for Christmas. It’s a painless experience and should only take an hour out of your day.

Check out the availability and times at the Lifeblood at the Geelong Donor Centre on 237-243 Ryrie Street.

To find out more about how donating blood, plasma or platelets can save lives, head to the website here.

Geelong Food Relief Centre

Assisting those in need of emergency food relief since 1990, the Geelong Food Relief Centre is always in need of public and corporate support.

Running through an agency run food voucher programme, every year more than 14,500 families use the centres for emergency food aid. With an abundance of food on the table at most of our Christmas parties, it’s also a time to consider how other families might be struggling to put their food on the table.

To learn more about the Geelong Food Relief Centre and how to donate head here.

Seeing Eye Dogs Australia

Wanting to see a new furry friend under the Christmas tree? The Puppy Carer Programme for Seeing Eye Dogs Australia need more people willing to love and care for a puppy that will one day change someone’s life forever. Additional to the experience of looking after one of their very special puppies, you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are assisting someone who is blind, to gain new independence.

This is a big commitment and requires a lot of dedication and consistent training but will ultimately be full of a lot of fun and love. Located in Geelong, the Puppy Carer programme need people and families who want to help those visually impaired and are dedicated to caring for a puppy who will then enter the Advanced Seeing Eye Dog training programme.

If this sounds like something for you or to check out the link here.

To find more volunteering options, take a look at the Volunteering Geelong website.

Looking for even easier ways to spread the love? Here’s a few simple ones!

  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Offer someone help with their groceries or mail
  • Choose a family or neighbour and make them a care package to leave on their door step
  • Pay for someone else’s anything (groceries, medication, coffee, gas, meal)
  • Babysit for a friend
  • Take someone out to coffee
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Drop off Christmas treats to a local business/service in town
  • And lastly, just ask how you can help. If you know someone who could use a hand just ask them how you could help them this Christmas.