As the end of the year draws to a close and Christmas is well and truly nigh, it seems a perfect time to review what financial supports are available to help you stretch your dollars further or recover from any unexpected costs that may have arisen. So, whether a person in your care needs assistance managing and saving their money or you need an immediate injection of food or funds to help make the season feel more festive, have a look through the following links to see if there’s a service that might bring you some added cheer:
Christmas hampers/gift assistance
- The Salvation Army offers free hampers and gifts to eligible applicants. Call the general enquiry line for more information: 137258. Website: Food hamper and gift assistance | The Salvation Army Australia
- St Vincent de Paul may have some Christmas hampers, dependent on local areas and their resources. To find out if one is available in your area, call their free number: 1800 846 643 (select option 1 and put in their local postcode).
- Wesley Mission Brisbane Relief Centre offer free Red Bags to low-income earners and gifts for children under 16 from Dec 6-23. Collection is available from Dec 6 to 23 Dec (midday) See website for details: 2021-emergency-relief-xmas-posters_red-bag-collection.pdf
- The Smith Family are offering gift vouchers for children’s toys (in lieu of toy and book gift packs during Covid). Call: 1300 326 459. Email: email@example.com.
- Be An Elf provides Christmas toys for eligible applicants: Call June Hintz for more information on eligibility on 07 3807 7665 or 0408 256 251. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Basket Brigade Brisbane provide family baskets for individuals through their Christmas lottery. Email an entry/application to this address: email@example.com. Website: Christmas Charity | Queensland | Brisbane Basket Brigade
Free Christmas Lunch Saturday 25 Dec:
- The Salvation Army provides free lunch. Phone the general enquiry line on 137 258 for details or find the nearest lunch location via their website: Join us for a Christmas meal | The Salvation Army Australia
- Wesley Mission Brisbane Relief Centre is providing lunch for 50 people maximum at their Brisbane Relief Hub, 316 St Pauls Terrace, Fortitude Valley. First come, first served as they do not take bookings. See their poster for details on this website
- Uniting Church offers a free lunch in Mansfield Brisbane. Please RSVP to the church office via email and let them know if you require help arranging transport: firstname.lastname@example.org; or phone 07 3849 8548. Free Christmas day lunch – Uniting Church in Australia, Queensland Synod (ucaqld.com.au)
- Warm Hearts and Merry Souls Seniors Charity Christmas Lunch (in Cairns) also offers a free lunch for Seniors up there that’s organised by a local family, the Kennedys.
NOTE: Attendees must be fully vaccinated and will need to provide proof of vaccination.
Bookings required and more information on this website: 2021 Warm Hearts and Merry Souls Seniors Charity Christmas Lunch Registration, Sat 25/12/2021 at 11:00 am | Eventbrite
Free Christmas events and services around Brisbane:
- Lots of free entertainment and activities in Brisbane is available on this link (which includes references to Brisbane City Council offerings): What’s On for Christmas in Brisbane 2021 (christmasinaustralia.com.au)
- Emmanuel City Mission in South Bank in Brisbane opens its doors 24/7 from 9am Monday 21 Dec until 9am on Christmas Day for those in crisis or needing meals/sanctuary during their 3 day Christmas Festival: ECM Christmas Festival — Emmanuel Community
Services where your donation may be tax deductible and/or make a difference to those in need over Christmas:
- Salvation Army Christmas Appeal: Get involved this Christmas | The Salvation Army Australia
- St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal: Vinnies Christmas Appeal – St Vincent de Paul Society
- Wesley Mission’s Red Bag Appeal: Red Bag Appeal (wmq.org.au)
- Uniting Care: Loads of Love 2021 » Loads of Love 2021
- Mayor’s Christmas Appeal (Townsville): Home – Mayor’s Christmas Appeal (townsville.qld.gov.au)
- Wildlife Preservation Appeal (help save the yellow-bellied glider?): Christmas appeal | Wildlife Preservation Society Queensland
Ongoing emergency assistance and crisis payments
- Emergency Relief - Queensland Government has a website listing contact details for services providing emergency relief like food vouchers, food parcels and third-party payments throughout Queensland: Emergency Relief Program | Community support | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au)
- Centrelink offers crisis payments for eligible applicants experiencing severe financial hardship. Website: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/crisis-payment
- Belong offers emergency relief and food to people in need within Brisbane South and Ipswich regions. See their website for more information about their services: Emergency Relief – Belong
- The Salvation Army may offer emergency financial assistance if they provide services in your area. Phone: 1300 371 288 (business hours). Website: Financial Assistance | The Salvation Army Australia
- St Vincent de Paul offer no interest loans to eligible applicants. Phone: 1800 484 664. Website: No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) – St Vincent de Paul Society – Good Works (vinnies.org.au)
- Wesley Mission. They operate a drop-in service for food hampers during business hours (closed from 12-1pm). Applicants must provide proof of low income and supply a photo ID. Phone: 1300 403 198. Email: email@example.com
- Chermside Kedron Community Church: The Uniting Church in Chermside/Kedron provide free food packages to eligible applicants. Office is open from 9am on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri mornings. People can receive one package per month and recipients need to fill in paperwork. Phone: 07 3350 4302. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nexus Care Everton Park: This charity runs a food relief program where one person per family can sign up to access 1 x food parcel per month for 3 months. Office is located on school grounds and hours Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm but arrival between 9.30-2.30 recommended due to school hours). Phone: (07) 3354 2555. Email: email@example.com
Carer specific payments
- Carer Payments are available through Centrelink for eligible carers. These include the Carer Payment Carer Payment – Services Australia Carer Allowance Carer Supplement – Services Australia and Carer Supplement Carer Supplement – Services Australia To see what other payments you may be eligible for details can be found at the Payment Finder – Services Australia (centrelink.gov.au)
- Queensland Government offers a range of concessions and rebates via their Smart Saving site which may be relevant for carers: Smart Savings Concessions and Rebates (premiers.qld.gov.au).
- Carer Friendly Business Discount Card - Eligible carers can apply for this Queensland Government program. The card then enables carers to receive discounts on a range of goods and service at participating businesses throughout Queensland. Carer Business Discount Card | Community support | Queensland Government (www.qld.gov.au)
- Carers Queensland offer ‘No Interest Loans’ from $300 up to $1500 to assist carers experiencing financial stress who meet their eligibility requirements. Phone during business hours on: (07) 3900 8100. Website: No Interest Loans – Carers Queensland (carersqld.com.au)
- The Carer’s Gateway lists information about a range of payments and benefits on their website: Financial help | Carer Gateway Carers are also encouraged to register with the Carer Gateway as they could be eligible for supports to assist them in their caring role.
- Young Carer Bursary Program - Carers aged 12-25 years old can apply for this bursary to assist them to continue in their education. Applications are usually open from August to September for a $3000 bursary in the following year. Young Carer Bursary | Young Carers Network
Free financial counselling services and advice
- The National Debt Hotline provides a free and confidential service that offers resources, advice and referrals via phone on 1800 007 007 (business hours). Website: Welcome Page – National Debt Helpline (ndh.org.au)
- Beyond Blue and Financial Counselling Australia have partnered to provide access to financial information and support: Financial wellbeing (beyondblue.org.au)
- Moneysmart offers free guidance and simple tools, tips and calculators to help people of all ages, backgrounds and incomes to build a better life: About us – Moneysmart.gov.au
- Moneymob is a service for people with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origins wanting further financial advice and support. Phone: 1800 849 041 (business hours). Website: MoneyMob Talkabout | For a future where Anangu are ninti with their money
- Financial Literacy for Women - The Migration Council of Australian offers a free program for women who want to learn more about becoming financially literate via the following website: Financial Literacy for Women (myauslearning.org.au)