Xmas joy in toys, books. The Smith Family Christmas Appeal

Xmas joy in toys, books. The Smith Family Christmas Appeal

THE Smith Family acting chief executive Lorna Woodley said access to education was the key for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This is why it is promoting its annual Christmas toys and books charity drive.

It is calling on people to help collect and donate new toys and books to allow 12,000 disadvantaged children to share in the joy of receiving and opening presents this Christmas.

The national children’s education charity’s annual Toy and Book Appeal aims to gather 36,000 new toys and 23,500 new books to deliver to disadvantaged families across the country by December 20.

The Smith Family WA general manager Lorna Woodley said all children should be able to share in the festivities of Christmas, but this was not the reality for thousands of children across Australia in families struggling financially.

“For a child living in disadvantage, Christmas can be an incredibly isolating experience and a reminder of what sets them apart from their friends and peers,” Ms Woodley said.

“We are relying on the kindness of the public to donate new toys and books, or run their own collections to support our Toy and Book Appeal.

“This is a simple way to help them to feel included in the joys of Christmas.”

This month, hundreds of volunteers will deliver the donated toys and books to 155 families in Midland who receive educational support from The Smith Family each year.

Mother Danielle Riseley said her children would receive gifts from The Smith Family on Christmas Day to enjoy and encourage their reading.

Her children Bethany (6) and Jackson (9) love reading books.

Jackson’s favourite subject is science and Bethany loves Dr Seuss books.

Ms Riseley heard about the support through her children’s primary school when she moved from the country to Stratton.

The gifts are packaged according to the children’s ages and interests, Ms Woodley said.

“It is a very rewarding experience for those involved.”

The Smith Family was founded in 1922 when five businessmen delivered gifts to orphans on Christmas eve.

“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 – and that’s why we continue to distribute toys and books at Christmas time,” Ms Woodley said.