Lynn-Maree’s life changed forever when she was hit by a car 25 years ago.

The single mother couldn’t walk for five years. It took 10 years to fully recover.

She knows what it’s like to face hard times.

For the past 14 years, Lynn-Maree has worked as a Financial Counsellor as part of UnitingSA’s Emergency Relief team in Port Adelaide.

Every day, she helps people struggling to pay their electricity bills, rising rents and increasing debts. Putting food on the table amid the rising cost of living is becoming harder and harder for many South Australians.

Lynn-Maree loves her job. She loves helping people get back on their feet. She knows what it’s like to have only 10 cents left in her pocket, only days away from utility due dates. She knows what it’s like to not have a single dollar to pay for something as simple as a bus ticket or a loaf of bread.

Every Christmas, Lynn gives up her Christmas Day to volunteer at our Christmas Day Lunch.

Financial Counsellor Lynn-Maree with UnitingSA CEO Jen Hall dressed in festive attire

Financial Counsellor Lynn-Maree with UnitingSA CEO Jen Hall preparing for the Christmas Day Lunch

“People can find themselves facing financial hardship at Christmas time through no fault of their own. It could be as simple as losing their job, or experiencing a relationship break down. Or, like me, they could have an accident,” Lynn-Maree said.

“Most people just don’t have the capacity to live more than two weeks past losing their income.”

Through her work as a Financial Counsellor at UnitingSA, Lynn-Maree sees people referred to her from right across UnitingSA’s services, including emergency relief, mental health services, homelessness and the 24-hour youth house.

They are the people that often are also at our Christmas Day Lunch.

Lynn-Maree wants you to know that anything you can give this Christmas is so gratefully received by the people we help. “The people we support are so very appreciative of any help we can give them – thank you for your generosity.”

If you’d like to help us make Christmas possible for people in need, visit our interactive Christmas Appeal webpage where you can make an online donation, register as a Christmas Community Collector or find out how to donate gifts and food items. Thank you for your support.