Many of us are celebrating that our family and friends will be able to actually gather together for Christmas in this COVID year. But one in ten Australians are worried their children will not have enough to eat, or have daily necessities, this Christmas.
That heartbreaking statistic is revealed by new research by the Salvation Army, launched today in Sydney as part of the Salvos annual Christmas Appeal.
The research conducted by Pureprofile (surveying more than 2000 Australians) included other sobering findings such as 10 per cent of Australians fear their children will miss out on presents.
“After a devastating year, this Christmas really is more important than ever,” said Major Bruce Harmer, Salvation Army’s head of public relations.
“The Salvos encourage Australians to be reminded about what really matters at Christmas, focusing on the values of peace, joy and hope.”
With 2020 being a year of widespread job loss and lost revenue due to the pandemic, it is not surprising to learn more than 8.1 million Australians (41 per cent) feel financially stressed this Christmas.
More than 8.1 million Australians (41 per cent) feel financially stressed this Christmas.
While three in four (76 per cent) of Australians are still looking forward to Christmas, the Salvos research reveals many people are dealing with negative circumstances and emotions:
· Compared with last year, one in three (32.7 per cent) Australians have felt financial pressures and stress significantly impact their lives this year, while 38 per cent are more stressed about their finances.
· More people are feeling anxious (32 per cent), depressed (25 per cent), lonely (29 per cent), stressed (36 pre cent) and uncertain (38 per cent), when compared with last year.
· About 5.1 million Australians (26 per cent) are more concerned about being able to pay for Christmas expenses this year compared with 2019, with 23 per cent feeling pressure to spend more than they can afford this Christmas.
“Christmas is the busiest time of the year for The Salvos, and this year we expect it to be our biggest ever,” said Harmer.
“We provide millions of dollars’ worth of hampers, community meals and financial assistance to those in need, to make sure that everyone can have a very special Christmas.”
This year, the Salvation Army estimated that it has helped more than 80,000 people impacted by COVID-19, with about $10 million worth of financial assistance.