Replacing Christmas cards with practical cash donations to local charities is an annual tradition for Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman.
“This year’s recipients are Tiningi Youth Centre Bligh Park, North Richmond Generation Youth, Zonta Club Blue Mountains and Farm it Forward Blue Mountains.
“This is the sixth year that I’ve given money to four local charities, rather than send cards … two in the Hawkesbury and two in the Blue Mountains,” Ms Templeman said.
Two youth programs in the Hawkesbury were Ms Templeman’s chosen recipients, as she felt young people had been hit hard by COVID and its social restrictions.
“Their mental health has also suffered, and it’ll take more than Christmas card money to fund a Headspace centre that we so badly need. So, I wanted to support the groups already active in our community,” she said.
Tiningi Youth Centre is run by Bligh Park Community Services, giving young people aged 12 years and older a supportive place to drop in from Monday to Friday after school hours. Qualified youth workers provide supervision and fun activities on site, and Friday nights mean free pizza and movies.
North Richmond Generation Youth, the North Richmond youth project, meets every Wednesday at the community centre for two hours. There’s games, arts, crafts, movies and outings, as well as other important activities like ‘Homework Hour’ where young people can access free wifi, electricity and snacks to get their homework done, supervised by youth workers.
“It’s wonderful to be able to turn the money I would spend on Christmas cards – which ultimately end up in the recycle bin – into Christmas presents for worthy organisations.”
Picture: NRGY Facebook.