Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Kay Fraser, has launched the 2017 Mayor’s Christmas Appeal, inviting the Lake Mac community to share the goodwill of the season by donating gifts and goods for those less fortunate.

Cr Fraser launched the appeal on Monday night at the Council Chambers, where Councillors and staff placed gifts under the tree.

“Christmas can be a difficult and stressful time for people who are facing financial challenges,” Cr Fraser said.

“Donating to the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal is a simple way to help ensure all members of our community have the opportunity to celebrate and enjoy Christmas.”

The Mayor’s Christmas Appeal is conducted in conjunction with the Samaritans Christmas Appeal, the organisation assisting thousands of families across the Hunter each year and more than 350 directly through its Christmas Appeal. In addition to toys, people can make donations of gifts for teenagers and adults, non-perishable food, Christmas items or essential household goods.

“This year, I have chosen to buy a selection of vouchers as my gift to the appeal, as gifts suitable for older children and adults are often in short supply,” Cr Fraser said.

“But gifts of all types are welcome, and will find their way to a grateful recipient. I know our caring community will once again respond generously to the Mayor’s Christmas Appeal.”

The Mayor’s Christmas Appeal will continue until December 15. Unwrapped gifts and other donated items can be left at the Reception desk at the Council Administration Building at Speers Point, or at the Lake Mac Libraries branches at Charlestown, Cardiff, Morisset, Swansea and Toronto.

The Samaritans also welcome cash donations, which can be made through the organisation’s website