BIG HELP: Santa's Classy Helpers at their pop-up supermarket for more than 300 families in need this Christmas.
BIG HELP: Santa's Classy Helpers at their pop-up supermarket for more than 300 families in need this Christmas. Caitlin Zerafa

A special Christmas gift

THANKS to an army of Santa's Classy Helpers, more than 300 families will have a full pantry this Christmas.

The J resembled a mini-supermarket on Tuesday, stocked with thousands of non-perishable foods, toiletries, clothes and toys.

Founder Lorraine Kenway and her team spent all year collecting goods for the free shopping day.

"Every child receives a packet of knickers, pair of pyjamas, a new outfit, a toy and then whoever is in charge of the family gets to shop for all their groceries.”

"It means they can go home and fill their cupboard for Christmas.”

Each month, Ms Kenway holds a function, asking people to donate a particular grocery product.

"I also have to raise about $200,000 a year just to buy the clothes and toys.”

Ms Kenway also extended her thanks to the community for their support.

The families are found through United Synergies, St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army and school chaplains.

Kelly Kendall and her family are among the many this event helps.

"This is not the first time we have been invited to come. The first time I thought I was coming to pick up a hamper, which was just fantastic, but when I turned up I cried the whole way through,” she said. "Being invited to something like this when your life has had an unpredictable change of events, its means so much.

"This is such a wonderful thing that they do and it's not only their immense generosity but also their unconditional love. Everyone who is here is here for a reason and it's that unconditional love.”

"I am forever grateful.”


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