THIRTY-SIX disadvantaged families from six schools in Lake Macquarie have received a blessing this Christmas.
St Luke's Uniting Church, Belmont, and its Community Commission that co-ordinates community events throughout the year, distributed more than 40 hampers among the local families last week.
Called Project Blessing, the local Christmas hamper delivery started 20 years ago in one volunteer's living room.
The hampers included non-perishable food, toiletries and toys, tailored to each family's needs.
The money to buy the goods is donated by the church's congregation.
Last Friday, the commission's members volunteered about six hours to shop, pack and deliver the hampers from the church's community centre.
They were delivered to families from Belmont, Belmont North, Jewells and Floraville public schools, as well as Belmont High School and St Luke's Preschool.
The families who receive the hampers are chosen for many reasons.
This year, they included a family who had its home destroyed by fire.
Another family had lost one of its family member.
Community Commission organiser Alison Gill described Project Blessing as a little bit like a Christmas giving tree.
"It's the perfect way to directly give back to the community, at a time when they need it most," she said.
"There's a lot more people out there suffering than anyone realises.
"We just want them to know that we're here for them."