GRATEFUL families and many smiling young faces brought Hastings hall to life last week as part of the Western Port Christmas Giving Program.
Four hundred food hampers – weighing in at seven tonnes – as well as 1000 toys and other gifts for children made their Christmas one to savour.
Western Port Community Support coordinator Mike O’Grady said the hampers and toys were collected with assistance of the Salvation Army, churches, service organisations, businesses, schools and individuals from around the Mornington Peninsula.
But the real heroes are its volunteers, who run the program and manage the donations. It receives no grants from state or federal governments.
“We spent $30,000 on toys, food and hampers, which included $8000 in groceries from Woollies,” he said.
The program committee hopes to be able to repeat the effort next Christmas and, possibly, expand it.