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Diversity and charity reflected on TV this Christmas Day


The experience of Christmas in Australia is diverse as those who experience it. This year, Channel 9 will air the program My Christmas, a half hour program which will show Christmas through the eyes of individuals who benefit from charitable work, and others who volunteer with various charities.

The program looks at the good work charities and “good Samaritans” do to help people have a better Christmas. It will showcase the work of Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations, some of whom have a Christian basis.

Richard Attieh, who has previously worked with both Wesley Mission and Hillsong and is now producing My Christmas, says “In pitching this idea to Channel 9, I was motivated by the desire to tell good stories that make a difference in people’s lives.”

The documentary profiles the work of five different organisations. Each segment will tell the story of Christmas from a different perspective, and each will seek to demonstrate what community spirit, and the spirit of Christmas, looks like.

Several aspects of the work of the Salvation Army are on the shortlist for being profiled: their work reconnecting families at Christmas; the work of Outback Santa and the chaplains who fly to the outback with presents for communities; or even sharing the story of a homeless person over Christmas, are all possible angles which may be covered.

The Sydney Adventist Hospital in Wahroonga NSW will share the work of one volunteer in their cancer clinic, who helps people in hospital have a better Christmas, In doing so, they’re seeking to capture the spirit of Christmas in a Christian hospital. Another not for profit, CAN Mental Health,  will also share a story from amongst their sphere for Christmas.

The Vineyard Co-op, a group of Christian people and their friends will be filmed as they divide more than  $500 worth of fruit and vegetables into 25 boxes, and raise more than $100 for a Christian charity that provides clean drinking water for developing communities in Cambodia through the work of Metamorphic International. The  families who buy fruit and vegetables wholesale, and sell boxes (worth$40-50 in a supermaket) for $25, giving $5 towards the Christian charity called Metamorphic (water for Cambodia).

Chef Zigi in Chippendale will also be featured on the documentary, as he cooks a gourmet Christmas lunch for homeless people in Sydney. Chef Zigi will cook enough for more than 20 people in his restaurant, and is especially keen to serve single mums and their kids this Christmas

Richard Attieh says, “There’s something special about what these organisations are doing, whether they’re motivated by faith or good will.”

“I’m hoping that people will find the spirit of Christmas through this program.”

‘My Christmas’ will air nationally on Channel 9 on Christmas morning between 10 and noon.

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Image: flickr_Matt_Roe