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1.6 Million Aussie Parents Cancel Christmas Because They Can't Afford Presents For The Kids

Confronting report from the Salvos

1.6 Million Aussie Parents Cancel Christmas Because They Can't Afford Presents For The Kids Pic: Pexels

Just twelve sleeps out from Christmas Day, and we're being reminded to think of the many Australians who find this time of year particularly difficult. 

Research from the Salvation Army reveals more than 1.6 million Aussie parents with children under the age of 10 can't afford to give their kids Christmas presents this year. 

Salvos Director of Fundraising, Leigh Cleave, says it's a worrying jump on last years stats. 

"That's a significant increase. Last year, based on the same research, it was just half a million and that's hard for us to comprehend, but we know from the front line that many Australians are finding it difficult."  

"The research is really quite confronting", says Cleave. 

Major Paul Moulds says it's simply getting too hard for people to keep their heads above the water. 

“People living on marginal incomes and tight budgets are already carefully managing how they spend their money but with power prices escalating, housing affordability getting worse and more Australians struggling to get enough paid work. " 

For the Salvos, charity starts at home. 

"We encourage everyone to look out for others in their local community and share the hope and joy of Christmas. We see so much poverty and people without hope at The Salvation Army. It hits home even more at Christmas. Fortunate Australians are getting ready for a big time of year. Less fortunate Australians cannot even afford to buy gifts or even afford a get together," says Major Moulds. 

On top of the findings about how tight money can be over the silly season, the report also highlighted the fact that more than 13 million Australians know someone who will spend the season feeling lonely. 

"That's quite heartbreaking, to think that there is people that will feel isolated and have no sense of connection to anyone," says Cleave.  

"There's the opportunity wherever you are to connect with people that you see might be lonely. Sometimes it just takes us to stop, and actually look around us" 

The push is on to get people donating to the Salvos Christmas Appeal, so they can help even more families in need. 

“Over Christmas we will help over 300,000 people, serve over 10,000 meals and distribute more than half a million gift and toys". 

For anyone who's looking to donate, a reminder just $29 will allow the Salvos to put food on the table and take care of the presents for Aussies who really need it. 

To donate, you need to go to the Salvos website or call 13 SALVOS (13 72 58).