Picton woman collecting items for Christmas defence force hampers

Santa's little helpers: Debbie Allsop, Michelle McLean and Rob Moreton help pack some boxes for the defence hamper drive. Picture: Simon Bennett
Santa's little helpers: Debbie Allsop, Michelle McLean and Rob Moreton help pack some boxes for the defence hamper drive. Picture: Simon Bennett

Australia's defence personnel will be in for a treat this Christmas thanks to the generosity of shire locals.

Picton's Debbie Allsopp is once again collecting goodies to pack and send festival hampers to members of the Australian military deployed overseas this Christmas.

Ms Allsopp has been creating Christmas hampers for four years and loves giving our defence force a yuletide boost.

She was inspired to start the hampers because she had family in the military and cadets.

Now, the tradition continues and the whole community gets involved.

"When I started I sent over 50 boxes," Ms Allsopp said.

"Last year we sent 115, and already this year I'm up to 110."

Plenty of goodies: Debbie Allsopp loves collecting treats for defence personnel every year, and spends hours packing boxes.

Plenty of goodies: Debbie Allsopp loves collecting treats for defence personnel every year, and spends hours packing boxes.

Ms Allsopp encourages locals to purchase some non-perishable items for the hampers in their regular shopping trips, then she will travel to pick the items up from them.

Each box - which is a purchased for $2 from the post office - will then be filled with an assortment of goodies, including lollies, spreads, tea and coffee, crackers, magazines, pens, toothpaste and more.

"Vegemite is very popular," Ms Allsopp said.

"It gives them a taste of home. Lollies and sweets area also always a hit."

This year Ms Allsopp has also partnered with the Military Brotherhood to provide hampers for homeless veterans on home soil.

Ms Allsop will send her packages in mid-November. Search 'Defence Force Xmas Care Packages' on Facebook.