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By Wendy Williamson

The Christmas spirit of giving and forgiving is alive and well at Casey Cardinia Libraries (CCL).
For the second year in a row, in the lead-up to Christmas, the library service has established Forgiving Trees at all its branches.
Over the next few weeks, Casey and Cardinia residents are invited to go to their local library and contribute items of food or unwrapped gifts for people in need of support.
What is more, if donors have library fines, CCL will waive their fees in acknowledgement of their generosity.
Casey Cardinia Libraries CEO Chris Buckingham explained: “This is the season for giving, and we want people across our community to know that if they pay it forward and help out others, we will return the favour.”
The Forgiving Tree is a golden opportunity for library members with overdue items or fines to wipe the slate clean and feel good about it. However, anyone is welcome to contribute.
All donated items will go to local charities.
At Emerald, Barry Plant Real Estate is kindly partnering with the library to distribute goods through Emerald Uniting Church and St Mark’s, Emerald.
There is already quite a collection of gifts under the Forgiving Tree at Emerald Library. The campaign continues until 24 December.
“We know Christmas is a time where lots of households are under pressure to make ends meet,” Mr Buckingham said. “As a public library service we take great pride in providing useful and free services in safe, welcoming places. By waiving fines and encouraging people to visit our libraries we can bring people together and help celebrate the best things about community life in Casey Cardinia.”
Want to contribute? New and unwrapped gifts for any ages are welcome.
Non-perishable food needs to have its packaging intact, with best before dates in 2018.

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