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Presents for our brave personnel

CHEERFUL: US Contractor Mr Troy Petteway got into the Christmas spirit at Multi National Base - Tarin Kot, dressing up as Santas Claus, helping to hand out Christmas care packages from Australia and passing on holiday greetings to soldiers, sailors and airmen deployed to Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.
CHEERFUL: US Contractor Mr Troy Petteway got into the Christmas spirit at Multi National Base - Tarin Kot, dressing up as Santas Claus, helping to hand out Christmas care packages from Australia and passing on holiday greetings to soldiers, sailors and airmen deployed to Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. LSIS Andrew Dakin.

THE Australian Defence Force organises care packages to be sent to troops across the globe including the Middle East, East Timor and the Solomon Islands every Christmas and Anzac Day to liven spirits and show support from back home.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Ripley Town Centre are coordinating and sending these care packages on behalf of the Ripley community to show support and spread Christmas cheer.

Town Centre organisers are striving to deliver more than 100 care packages to the defence force but knowing how generous the Ripley community is, these expectations will likely be exceeded.

The Amberley RAAF Base is located within the centre's trade area, so the cause hits close to home and really resonates with those living in and around the region.

Sekisui House Community Development Officer Sarah Hardie said "we're expecting to see a lot of support for this worthwhile cause, and we've made the process as straight forward as possible for retailers and the community to be able to contribute”.

The donation shute will be located at Ripley Town Centre and will be locked to keep the items safe, so the public can be rest assured that their donations will reach the troops.

Organisers are encouraging the community to donate items that soldiers would be missing from home, anything from Vegemite to Anzac biscuits and Macadamias.

Other non-perishable goods such as toiletries, magazines, games and DVD's are treasured items to overseas troops.

The community is also encouraged to send a letter of support along with donations to let the defence force know Australia is thinking of them while they are away. There will be an opportunity for the public to write their letters of thanks and appreciation at the Ripley town Centre donation shute.

We all love receiving presents at Christmas time, but giving can often be far more rewarding.

Employees of Sekisui House, Ripley Town Centre, and managing agent CBRE will volunteer their time on Wednesday, December 5 to pack donated items, prepare the care packages and distribute to troops.

Ripley Town Centre Development Manager Taku Hashimoto said employees are keen to get involved in the Christmas cause and share the festive spirit.

"The teams have been extremely receptive by acknowledging the sacrifices made by the defence force and selflessly offering donations and their own time to help package and send-out the goods,” Mr Hashimoto said.

"We have a lot of respect for the Australian troops and this is a very deserving group of men and women to donate to this Christmas.

"It will be great to see the community band together and we are looking forward to seeing the contributions made over the Christmas period.”

Items for care packages must be donated to the shute at Ripley Town Centre by December 2 to send off in time for Christmas.

Although all non-perishable gifts for the troops are welcome, The Australian Defence Force encourages gender-neutral donations and cannot accept items for military dogs due to their training programs and dietary restrictions.

Keep an eye on Ripley Town Centre's website and social media pages for more information on the donations and how you can get involved.

For more information visit www.ripleytowncentre.com.au.

Ripley Today