RESIDENTS across Cooma are being encouraged to help bring some happiness to those in need this Christmas season by donating to the Salvation Army food and toy drive.
A number of families across Cooma and the region will struggle to buy gifts for their children or put a meal on the table this Christmas.
Cooma Salvation Army Captain Louise Nicholson said many families were struggling to make ends meet with rising electricity costs and bills due at the same time.
"People are saying they have utility bills, car registration and rates all due at the same times and it's almost double from last year," she said.
"It's a shock to the system.
"[The appeal is] to ensure every child has a toy onChristmas and families can put christmas lunch on the table.
"About 60 families so far have applied for hampers but I'm sure we will have more closer to Christmas.
"Last year we helped about 100 families across the region."
The Salvation Army helps families across the Monaro including Jindabyne and Bombala.
There are donation points across the region, where people can take new toys and food to be packed in hampers.
"We have a terrific group of people in the region who collect every year. There are collecting stations in Bombala at FoodWorks and IGA and the op shop," Captain Nicholson said.
"Anytime Fitness are collecting, Boyce Chartered Accounting have a wishing tree and Gidgillys preschool in Jindabyne as well as a number of schools throughout the region.
"We have received lots of cash donations from the general public.
"The Lions Club of Cooma, Nimmitabel and Berridale have also given cash donations and we have a Christmas tree and collecting toys and food at the family store in Cooma too."
Captain Nicholson said more gifts and food would be more than welcome, particularly gifts for 11 to 15-year-olds.
"We are looking for new toys, unwrapped so that parents know what they are giving kids on Christmas day and can put a personal touch when they wrap presents," she said.
The Salvation Army are hoping to have all donations in by December 17 to deliver the hampers on December 20.
Captain Nicholson thanked the community for their generosity.