Smith Family’s annual Christmas toy and book appeal

Gifts galore: Monica O'Donoghue (vol), Paul Chang (staff), Monica O'Donoghue, Paul Chang, Samantha Scott, Lorna Woodley and Barbara Colson . Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au   d446617
Gifts galore: Monica O'Donoghue (vol), Paul Chang (staff), Monica O'Donoghue, Paul Chang, Samantha Scott, Lorna Woodley and Barbara Colson . Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d446617

MORE than 58,000 new presents will be delivered to 5500 families this Christmas as part of the Smith Family’s toy and book appeal.

The Smith Family chief executive Lorna Woodley said the annual drive would provide more than |12,000 children with gifts.

“For disadvantaged children it can be incredibly isolating and soul-destroying to be set apart from kids who get presents at Christmas time,” Ms Woodley said.

“All children should be able to share in the festivities of Christmas but this is not the reality for the thousands of children across Australia in families who are struggling financially.”

Ms Woodley said the organisation helped disadvantaged kids to break the poverty cycle through education programs.

“A successful education is about more than just what happens in the classroom; it’s also about positive experiences in the home and community which allow young people to feel included.

“That’s why we continue to distribute toys and books at Christmas time.”

Ms Woodley said families on scholarship with the Smith Family could receive presents for kids up to 12 years old.

“It’s a huge logistical exercise; we get volunteers who help sort all the gifts into age and gender and then they get delivered to families on December 13,” she said.

As part of the appeal, businesses register to collect corporate donations for the appeal.

Claremont Abel McGrath office manager Kate Jones said their three offices started collecting toys and books late last month.

“Last year we collected 100 items but we’re hoping for 150 this year,” Ms Jones said.

“We initially wanted to do a secret Santa but we decided to support the Smith Family instead; most donations are staff-based but we’ll look at encouraging our clients to donate as well.”

To donate or volunteer, visit https://www.thesmithfamily.com.au/.