Hillsong CityCare partners with Out-of-Home Care organisations across the country through their annual Christmas campaign ‘Kilo of Christmas.’
We all know that when we’re singing along to “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,”* that for some, this is very far from reality. The Christmas season puts a spotlight on ‘family’ and can highlight and heighten the challenges being navigated by children, families and carers involved in the Out-of-Home Care space.
Generosity is at the heart of Christmas and many churches take the opportunity to look outwards, mobilising people to contribute towards those who are doing it tough in the community. CityCare’s ‘Kilo of Christmas’ campaign is one example of a church’s effort to make Christmas special for everyone, including children in Foster and Kinship Care.
Kilo of Christmas provides parents with quality toy packs tailored for different age groups to give to their children, as well as food hampers including pantry staples plus some treats to ensure that those who may otherwise go without can enjoy a Christmas meal. Hillsong Senior Pastor Phil Dooley says, “the church, people of faith, are aware that people are struggling and we believe part of our Christian faith, as followers of Jesus, is to help those in need.”^
Volunteers help prepare the hampers and toy packs at ‘Wrap & Pack’ parties, which have become a highlight of the church calendar. “We had more of our church come out this year to Wrap and Pack than we’ve ever had,” Pastor Phil says.
Kilo of Christmas does not happen without many community partners and among them this year were at least eight Out-of-Home Care organisations across the country.
Dave who leads CityCare in Victoria told us about one partner organisation Meli, in Geelong. They will be providing the hampers and gifts to a mix of Foster Care and Kinship Care families and they shared with Dave that it has relieved the pressure on families looking after children and has made a huge difference.
A Case Worker from another partner, Baptcare, shared that at Christmas time, it can be challenging for kids in Foster Care to not be around their family. When a child is given a gift it means a lot to them; it’s a chance to have a normal Christmas, where they wake up and there are presents under the tree. Sometimes there is financial strain for Foster Carers, so partnering in this way provides carers with the security of knowing they’ll be able to provide gifts for all the kids in their care and they don’t have added financial stress that month.
This is one of many ways that your church can come alongside those involved in the Out-of-Home Care space. It’s a great way to demonstrate care for vulnerable children and families, as well as an opportunity to connect with local organisations, show your support for what they do, and open a door to other partnership possibilities.
The Homeward Project would love to partner with you to build a holistic ministry that makes a significant difference in the Out-of-Home Care space in your community. Find out more by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or downloading The Homeward Project Discovery Pack here.