On The Fourth Day of Christmas My Wish Came True

ON the fourth day of Christmas My Wish Came True for a Christmas tree

It’s just not home without a Christmas tree in December and thanks to Anthony Curtin and Jono Costello's company, Melbourne Christmas Trees, the women and children at McAuley House and McAuley Care are decorating beautiful trees this year.

The traditionally cut real Christmas tree is set up in a community room and the women and children will decorate the tree.

Donations from many Mercy schools around Victoria, and other generous organisations, mean that gifts will be placed around the big tree and handed out on Christmas morning.

McAuley Community Services for Women CEO Jocelyn Bignold, said the addition of the tree and gifts makes a huge difference to people at Christmas.

For many women and children fleeing family violence, the idea of being away from home at Christmas is distressing. But the staff at McAuley House and McAuley Care’s safe house and refuges, and an astonishing number of community volunteers and donors, does whatever they can to make it a happy time.

“This can be such a difficult time for our women who are homeless and for those who have had to flee their home because of family violence. We want to do all we can to bring some joy into their lives at Christmas. At our refuges and safe house, where many of the women have children, it is particularly important,” Joce said.

Anthony, a co-owner of Melbourne Christmas Trees, remembers delivering Christmas trees to our houses over the years and the impact it has on the women.

“I was struck by how alone it must feel to be homeless, or removed from your home, at this time of the year,” he said.

As well as donating and installing the trees each year, Anthony and his business partner, Jono Costello, donate $1.00 to McAuley Community Services for Women for every Christmas tree sold. Over the years the pair has donated thousands of dollars to our organisation.

Anthony, a lawyer with Australian Unity, initiated the relationship with McAuley soon after starting the business. He wanted to make a contribution to an organization that was working to support women and children, those we most associate with Christmas. His family had a long association with Sister of Mercy, Helen Monkivitch, and he wanted his new business to make a difference in the community. Itcertainly has made a difference, according to the women at McAuley House and McAuley Care.

Melbourne Christmas Trees began as a small business, but has grown and now employs a regular team of workers to deliver and install the Christmas trees and then remove them after Christmas. As well as supporting our organization, Anthony and Jono also support Kids Under Cover.

“It doesn’t take much at all to make a bit of a difference, but it’s important to try. And the more people that know about McAuley, the better, so that others can also offer support,” he said.