Christmastime is family time – do we really give enough? 

By Lisa Redmon 

I am not talking about the new Nintendo Switch, latest iPhone or a new pair of earrings. I am talking about altruism, care and blankets, basic furniture, food, unbroken shoes and T-Shirts. Things that we take for granted are not accessible for everyone. It’s time to stop closing our eyes and showing gratitude by giving back to the community and teaching our children to appreciate what they have.  


Giving back

I have a need to give back because I’m so grateful and lucky!  -  I’m the only one in my family who doesn’t have muscular dystrophy. That’s why I feel the need to give back to the “Global Family” we live in.

When my sister and mother both started to have increasing symptoms, which made daily movements harder and harder, there has been a lot of support from family, friends and kind strangers in the supermarket or at the bus stop.  

What comes around goes around. I have witnessed kindness and care for my family when in need so that’s why I want to give and spread kindness and care whenever and wherever I can. But how would people who haven’t experienced tough times themselves or witnessed it in their circle of friends or family, know that it exists? And how would our children know, when we work so hard to avoid them having to know?

Don’t spoil them too much – teach them empathy

It’s important to teach our future generations perspective and empathy. They shouldn’t be too spoiled. We all have the responsibility to show our children how other people live and how children can be happy with much less than we have.

Christmas is an ideal time to go through all the old toys and sort out the ones that are still in good condition, but your children don’t play with anymore. These toys can then be donated to a child in need, who would be delighted. Many refugee organisations open their doors for toy or furniture donations and pass them on to families in need. To mention a few places:

 ARA, Welcome to Australia, Hypa, Save the children; St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Red Cross

Or if you really want to get involved - how about doing a “feel good family activity”? Get in contact with these charities to see if they needed support with their dinner programs, basic English lessons or homework clubs they run.

How does your work team make a difference, besides donating money?


At Johnston Grocke, we run a Charity Committee and get involved in good causes, which doesn’t just mean donating money. We recently established a relationship with the Ronald Mc Donald House and participate in their dinner program for families with children who appreciate a home-made meal after long days in the hospital.

Our team members were happy to volunteer, we drafted a meal plan, collected money, went shopping and then cooked up spaghetti Bolognese, chopped a salad and a fruit salad together and served brownies and ice cream. The kids loved it and the parents appreciated the meal and a friendly non-health-related chat! It was a perfect balance of giving back and team bonding outside of the office. We have gotten to know each other much better and found out later that we could have had a glass of wine if we wanted to 😊

This year we are not only supporting the brave Children and families at the Ronald Mc Donald House but also and our furry friends at the RSPCA. Click here for more information. 

We already started to collect money for our next dinner program, which is booked for the beginning of February and opened an account for donations to support the home-cooked meals. If you wished to contribute, please click here.  

If you were interested to come along for the next dinner program we participate in, please contact me directly:


“I alone cannot change the world. But I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” Mother Theresa. 

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Anthony Klatt, John Grocke and Mathew Wilkshire are authorised representatives of Paragem Pty Ltd. Paragem Pty Ltd ABN 16 108 571 875, is the holder of Australian Financial Services License number 297276 and these authorised representatives trade as Johnston Grocke.

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