Christmas spirit spread to troops across the globe

Ripley Town Centre
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Posted 7 Nov, 2018

Christmas spirit spread to troops across the globe 

Ripley Town Centre is getting into the gift of giving over the festive season, calling on its retailers, staff and the community to assist them in donating Christmas Defence Care Packages to overseas troops this year.

Ripley Town Centre staff and volunteers will be coordinating and packaging donated items from the community, via a donation shute from Monday 12 November, accepting various non-perishable items that will be included in the Care Packages.

Sekisui House, Community Development Officer Sarah Hardie said the Australian troops spend weeks, months and potentially years away from their loved ones, so this is a fantastic opportunity for the community to be able to express their gratitude for the defence force’s selfless work.

“This is a perfect opportunity for us all to say thanks to those serving overseas,” Ms Hardie said.

“We are expecting to see enormous generosity from our community, retailers and Ripley Town Centre representatives by donating their time and items to this excellent cause,” she said.

The Town Centre is encouraging its retailers, staff and the community to get behind this very worthy cause and help send a little piece of home to the 3,000-plus Australian servicemen and women who are currently serving overseas.

The Australian Defence Force organises Care Packages to be sent to troops across the globe including the Middle East, East Timor and the Solomon Islands every Christmas and Anzac Day to liven spirits and show support from back home.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Ripley Town Centre are coordinating and sending these care packages on behalf of the Ripley community to show support and spread Christmas cheer.

The Amberley RAAF Base is located within the centre’s trade area, so the cause hits close to home and really resonates with those living in and around the region.

Sekisui House, Community Development Officer Sarah Hardie said “we’re expecting to see a lot of support for this worthwhile cause, and we’ve made the process as straight forward as possible for retailers and the community to be able to contribute”.

Organisers are encouraging the community to donate items that soldiers would be missing from home, anything from Vegemite to Anzac biscuits and Macadamias.  

Other non-perishable goods such as toiletries, magazines, games and DVD’s are treasured items to overseas troops.

The community is encouraged to send a letter of support along with donations to let the defence force know Australia is thinking of them while they are away. There will be an opportunity for the public to write their letters of thanks and appreciation at the Ripley town Centre donation shute. 

We all love receiving presents at Christmas time, but giving can often be far more rewarding.

Employees of Sekisui House, Ripley Town Centre, and managing agent CBRE will volunteer their time on Wednesday 5 December to pack donated items, prepare the care packages and distribute to troops.

Ripley Town Centre senior development manager Taku Hashimoto said employees are keen to get involved in the Christmas cause and share the festive spirit.

“The teams have been extremely receptive by acknowledging the sacrifices made by the defence force and selflessly offering donations and their own time to help package and send-out the goods,” Mr Hashimoto said.

“We have a lot of respect for the Australian troops and this is a very deserving group of men and women to donate to this Christmas.

“It will be great to see the community band together and we are looking forward to seeing the contributions made over the Christmas period” he said.

Items for care packages must be donated to the shute at Ripley Town Centre by 27 November to send off in time for Christmas.

 Although all non-perishable gifts for the troops are welcome, The Australian Defence Force encourages gender-neutral donations and cannot accept items for military dogs due to their training programs and dietary restrictions.