Giving spirit: Volunteers Denise Boyko and Joan Lear at the Combined Charities Christmas card shop. Photo: RUBY STALEY

More than Christmas cheer

October 29, 2020 BY

VOLUNTEERS at the Ballarat Combined Charities Christmas Card Shop have been busy transforming St John’s Church Hall into a gift store for their annual charity drive.

Coordinator Denise Boyko said this year the charities they donate to need the money and support now more than ever.

“I’ve been doing it since 2004 and normally we donate 96 per cent of the profits to the charities, but this year we decided we’re donating 100 per cent from our sales,” she said.

The huge selection of cards are available for individual purchases, or there’s blank cards in large quantities suitable for businesses with the prices starting at 30¢.

The wide range of charities supported by the sale of the cards and gifts include the 3BA Christmas Appeal, AVNER, Anglicare, Berry Street, Ballarat Health Services, Ballarat Hospice Care, the Soup Bus, the Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, the Cancer Council, Cystic Fibrosis Australia, the Fred Hollows Foundation, Horizons of Hope, the Ballaarat Mechanics’ Institute, the Red Cross, the Royal Flying Doctors, St Vincent de Paul and Vision Australia.

“Previous years, we have raised around $20,000, so we’re hoping for around $25,000 this year which will go to all the different charities,” Ms Boyko said.

“People should feel really good shopping here because it’s helping so many different charities and they have been suffering with all of the COVID stuff this year.”

Also available is a range of Christmas decorations, plants, gift cards, stationary, calendars and unique gifts suitable for Christmas time or other occasions.

Staffed by over 50 volunteers, Ms Boyko said the shop attracts visitors and helpers alike from all over Ballarat and beyond.

“We have a band of volunteers mostly from Ballarat and we have a range of products hand made by volunteers at other organisations like the Sheila’s Shed, the Men’s Shed and Horizons of Hope,” she said.

The shop is located at St John’s Lutheran Church Hall 204a Doveton Street South and has with wheelchair accessibility and a COVID plan in place.

Opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am until 4.30pm and from November opening Saturday 10am until 1pm. The store is cash only.