For most of us, the holiday season is a time for celebrations with family and friends. But for many older members of our community, Christmas is another reminder of their loneliness. People aged 65 and over are the loneliest people in Australia. Many live alone, isolated not only from their loved ones but also from the wider community.
But STAR Community Services want to do something to ease that problem. STAR is a not-for-profit organisation operating in the Brisbane area since 1996. It provides a range of aged care and disability support services including NDIS, home care packages, in home care, companionship support, community transport and wellbeing services.
STAR’s Secret Santa Appeal, launched in 2019, is a big part of the group’s fight against social isolation among older Australians. The annual appeal provides a way for everyone to get involved and contribute gifts and donations, which are then packaged into hampers and delivered by volunteers to seniors in our local community in Ipswich, who are at risk of loneliness.
“The problem of loneliness among the seniors may be huge to tackle at once, but meaningful acts of kindness can help us all move in the right direction. By contributing gifts and donations, whether small or large, we can help brighten the spirits of those who are at risk of isolation and ensure that no one feel left out during this special time of year,” said Patsy Wilshire, CEO of STAR Community Services.
Last year’s Secret Santa Appeal saw an overwhelmingly positive response in Ipswich with more than 60 hampers, 467 gifts and 487 items delivered to Ipswich seniors.