GIVING: THE TRUE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT
By ADRIAN MILLER
THE Clarence Valley has embraced the Adopt a Family campaign which contributes to the welfare and happiness of battling families at Christmas.
Welfare agencies and churches report that the Valley has dug deep in the effort to help.
The APN Newspaper group, which owns The Daily Examiner, began the Adopt a Family campaign in 2002, initially to help rural families battling drought.
The campaign was expanded to help families throughout New South Wales and Queensland struggling at Christmas.
Grafton Christ Church Cathedral Dean, Peter Catt, said the Valley's generosity had led to more people being helped.
"People have been exceptionally generous this year," he said.
"We've had no trouble helping the nominated people, and we've managed to help quite a few others along the way."
He said it showed people realised what Christmas was all about.
"It's nice to have a sense that people understand Christmas is more about giving than receiving and sharing what you have with other people."
Major Col Robinson, of the Salvation Army in Grafton, said enough donations were received to help all families in need, but the work was not finished.
"We have had an excellent response this year and we've been able to meet the needs of families," he said.
"Even so, it's still very busy and there's still plenty of work to do, but this certainly helps."
John Moore, from Lifeline, said donations to his organisation had been coming through slowly, up until now.
"It's been slow starting, but it's actually been picking up quite well the last couple of days," he said.
Mr Moore said he thought the slow start was caused by people misinterpreting the campaign.
"Talking around to a lot of people, many of them didn't understand what it was about. I had people thinking it was all sorts of things, like you had to take them home for Christmas," he said.