With less than a month until Christmas, we’re working hard behind the scenes to help South Australians doing it tough.
For people presenting to our services who are already isolated, lonely or in financial crisis, Christmas only exacerbates these issues.
Those that we support often find it hard to ask for help. Our frontline workers need to break down barriers and start meaningful conversations, so that we can then determine how best to support them.
That’s where Roxy, the six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier comes in!
Like most ordinary four-legged friends, Roxy loves pats, naps and chicken. Her job, however, is extraordinary.
Roxy is an essential member of UnitingSA’s Homelessness Service. Each week, she accompanies the outreach team to provide critical supplies to people in the western suburbs who are sleeping rough.
In 2023, the UnitingSA branch of the Adelaide North West Homelessness Alliance (ANWHA) has provided four times the number of sleeping bags than its usual monthly average, and helped twice as many people sleeping rough during the winter months.
By taking a dog out in the field, UnitingSA’s outreach workers can build trusting relationships with people who would normally be reluctant to talk or ask for assistance.
Roxy helps ‘break the ice’ so our workers can start a meaningful conversation and provide the help they need.
People have grown to love Roxy on her travels, and have come to look forward to her visits. She loves cuddles and is content to sit and be adored while our team chat and go a little deeper into a person’s situation.
Many of the people Roxy meets will benefit directly from any funds or gifts donated throughout our Christmas Appeal.
They may attend our Christmas Day lunch, choose a gift for their children from our toy room, or have access to emergency relief and practical supplies.
Will you help Roxy and our team spread more paw-sitivity this Christmas?
Here’s how you can support our Christmas Appeal:
- Make a once-off or regular, monthly tax-deductible donation online, call our friendly team on (08) 8440 2200, or post a cheque along with your contact details to UnitingSA, PO Box 3032, Port Adelaide, SA 5015.
- Gift new, unused items to our Emergency Relief Centre at 58 Dale Street, Port Adelaide between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. This could be gifts for children/teenagers, non-perishable food items, or basic household and personal hygiene products.
- Register your workplace, school or community group as a Community Host Collector. Invite your networks to donate gifts and raise funds as a collective.
- Purchase our SOS Socks or some specially designed Christmas Cards, with proceeds going towards the appeal.
Your support will help make Christmas possible for the people Roxy meets, and many more South Australians.
Thank you to all who have donated to our appeal so far. Together we can make Christmas possible.