Bringing people together for purposeful interactions and meaning has always been important to us — ultimately it's what we created the CCS for.
But, in November 2001, in response to the shock of 9/11, Leonie and Craig had a small event they called The Spirit of Christmas — a gathering of close friends and families to connect and create Christmas hampers for those in need. We wanted to create a little ‘pocket of hope’.
Since that first gathering, The Spirit of Christmas or 'SOC' has been an annual event. And 15 years on, it continues to thrive.
Each year we have over 150 kids and adults come to SOC bringing all kinds of food, treats, gifts and gift vouchers. Then, in what is always the highlight of the event, families and friends, walk around the food-packed tables choosing from the hundreds of items to make up a fabulous Christmas hamper for a family in need to enjoy.
The hampers and gifts are then picked and personally delivered to families by the Burnside* organisation.
It's a wonderful way for families to give back and enjoy the true spirit of Christmas. We call it a party with a purpose!
[*Burnside is an agency of the Uniting Church in Australia providing care and protection for vulnerable children and families. It operates by building partnerships and links with volunteers, government departments, foster carers, local community groups, supporters and donors.]