Salvos lend a hand to those in need at Lismore Square
CHRISTMAS is a time for family, friendships and fun, but it can also be a time of high stress and family feuds.
The Salvation Army is raising money for its Christmas appeal to help those families or individuals finding it hard to cope.
Jenny and Lindsay Reeves were at Lismore Square with their buckets this month raising money.
"We help 140 families at Christmas," Mr Reeves said.
"Some have trouble paying rent, others have trouble paying bills and some have trouble just getting food on the table."
Mrs Reeves said high expectations at Christmas could make the celebration all that more stressful.
"It's a lot of pressure to meet the expectations of your family or your own expectations of what Christmas should be like for your family, and so people are skating on the edge of coping," she said.
Mr Reeves has been a Salvation Army officer for 23 years, but his involvement began long before that.
"I was born into it really," he said.
"My parents were Salvation Army officers and their parents before them."
Mrs Reeves has been an officer for about six years.
It was through the Salvation Army that she met her husband.
"I was drawn to the Salvation Army because they take the message of hope to the community in a very caring and real way," she said.
"There's one man who is coming out of rehab late December and he's turned from extreme violence and stepped our way ... he's doing so great now.
"That sort of story we get so excited about, seeing lives change, and that's why we're here," Mrs Reeves said.
"The community can fill our buckets at the mall. We've got the Kmart Christmas Tree ... we have a carols service going on in Goonellabah on December 20. There will be people wrapping gifts here in the square in December so, if people want to help with gift-wrapping, they can contact us."
To get involved, call the Lismore Corps on 6624 7326 or stop by 32 Cambridge Dr, Goonellabah.