Queensland Rail has rolled out the red carpet to welcome Santa Claus and his reindeers to Central station to support the launch of Queensland’s largest annual Christmas Appeal in partnership with RizeUp.
Queenslanders can support the appeal by dropping gifts into their local train station before Christmas Eve to help spread some festive joy to families impacted by domestic and family violence.
Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey said gift collection points were now open at Central and Roma Street stations for customers to donate gifts.
“We’re seeking gifts for children as young as infant age, right through to teenagers and parents, to help spread some joy to families who are displaced as a result of domestic or family violence this Christmas,” Mr Bailey said.
“People can drop off gifts right up until Christmas Eve, at which point hardworking volunteers and staff from RizeUp and Queensland Rail will work around the clock to pack and transport these generous gifts to families throughout the state.
“Gifts can also be donated at any attended South East Queensland train station during station opening hours which are available on Queensland Rail’s website.”
Mr Bailey said as part of this year’s efforts, Queensland Rail would also again assist with the transportation of boxes to communities across Queensland.
“Whether it’s the 1,600km journey north to Cairns, the 1,300km trip north-west to Longreach or the 770km stretch to Charleville, Queensland Rail staff are ready to make sure these gifts make their way to those who need them most.”
Mr Bailey joined Queensland Rail’s Executive General Manager Customer Service and Innovation Natalie Roach, RizeUp CEO Nicolle Edwards and RizeUp Patrons Shelley Craft and Petero Civoniceva to welcome Santa and launch the event.
RizeUp Ambassador Shelley Craft put the challenge out to Queenslanders to beat last year’s total of 3,000 gifts.
“I know Queenslanders love a good challenge, which is why I’m encouraging everyone in the Sunshine State to donate what they can as part of the first national appeal,” Ms Craft said.
“This is your chance to help make a difference in the lives of a family which has experienced family and domestic violence.
“Thanks to your generosity, our RizeUp families will be able to enjoy the festive season.”
RizeUp founder and CEO Nicolle Edwards thanked Queensland Rail customers and locals in advance for their support.
“If it weren’t for Queenslanders digging deep over the past few years, we wouldn’t have been able to help so many families and to take the appeal nationally this year,” Ms Edwards said.
“RizeUp offers immediate refuge to families experiencing domestic violence as well as food, blankets and other important items that young children and parents need when they seek refuge.
“This is an opportunity for communities to join together in donating much needed gifts, and a chance for the entire country to rise up and say no to domestic and family violence.”
Gift collection points are located at the Central station concourse and Roma Street station fare gates (Roma Street-side) during morning and afternoon peak travel periods.
Gifts can include gift vouchers, games and new toys, noting all gifts must be unopened and wrapped for safety purposes.