Australia’s iconic Christmas Lunch in the Park (CLIP), which is organised annually by Mission Australia, is back for another year to bring the festive spirit to those who need it most.
Mission Australia’s 70,000th meal will also be served.
Mission Australia, a charity that stands together with Australians in need until they can stand for themselves, is calling for a magenta army of volunteers to help make the lunch possible.
For 47 years, the event has provided Perth’s most vulnerable people to come together for a shared lunch, a friendly chat, and to enjoy some cheerful Christmas entertainment.
It’s rumoured that Santa might even make an appearance with much-needed gifts.
Mission Australia’s Western Australia State Director Sue Budalich said more than 1200 guests were expected to come to Wellington Square on Christmas Day.
Mission Australia’s integrated nationwide services help people find safe and affordable housing, support disadvantaged children and families, empower troubled young people, assist people with mental illness and disability, and much more.
“Christmas Lunch in the Park relies on the generosity of more than 320 volunteers to help make this event possible,” Ms Budalich said.
“From Broome to Bunbury – we’ve had people come from all across Australia to make Christmas day special for those who need it most.
“Year after year, our wonderful volunteers donate their time to help – not just on the day, but with set up, pack down and fundraising,” Ms Budalich added.
The day is about more than just a tasty meal, with special care packs prepared for each guest.
“There’s an opportunity to connect people with support services that may help, and our Wellness Zone has showers and clothing available for those who need it,” Ms Budalich said.
“We also provide a care pack which has personal care items and non-perishable food to help in the days after Christmas when many services are closed.”
Ms Budalich said there are ways to help even if you can’t make it on the day.
“People can help us make a difference by ‘Donating a Plate’ online, where a donation of just $100 can provide Christmas lunch, gifts and care packs for a family of four,” she added.
“You can also organise your own fundraising event, such as a walk-a-thon or morning tea through our secure website.”
Volunteer registrations are now open and close on November 15.
To volunteer, donate or fundraise for this year’s Christmas Lunch in the Park, please visit www.christmaslunchinthepark.com.au