Christmas spirit abounds in Eastern Southland with several goodwill ventures being undertaken.

Among them is one bound to put a smile on women’s faces.

Two friends have started a collection of “luxury” items to put in Christmas packages for Gore Women’s Refuge clients.

Sacha Ramsay and Janeen Moir, who are behind the initiative, have been amazed at the generosity of businesses and individuals contributing to the project.

“Everyone has been so generous,” Mrs Ramsay said.

The two women said Christmas time was a busy time for the refuge and they were keen to make the festive season brighter for women who were clients of the service.

“We just wanted to help someone out at Christmas,” Mrs Ramsay said.

The two women said the women’s refuge provided an invaluable service and a lot of its work was carried out behind the scenes.

“Probably the mums don’t get much at this time of the year,” Mrs Moir said.

Domestic violence touched all sectors of society and women often put their children first at Christmas, making sure they enjoyed the festive occasion.

People could donate luxury items such as chocolate, hand or body lotion or vouchers for eyebrow shaping, to name a few ideas, she said.

There had even been vouchers donated for dental checks, she said.

“Businesses have been really good,” Mrs Moir said.

Gore Women’s Refuge social worker Sharni Hayes said the gifts would be distributed to women who had been clients from throughout the year.

The recipients of gifts were extremely appreciative, Miss Hayes said.

“It says a lot to them, we do care.”

A present reinforced the woman’s self-worth, she said.

Gore Women’s Refuge advocate Kerri Oliver said delivering the packages to the women would be a pleasure.

“There’s nothing more rewarding,” Ms Oliver said.

The final collection day is Friday so people are urged to drop donated goods to Hi B Hair or Paint the Town Red.Sports brandsWoman Shoes