Toy and food appeal drives Christmas hope

The City of Whittlesea and Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network are working together this Christmas to give hope and cheer to local families facing hardship.

This year has had significant financial and emotional impacts on many people living in our community.

City of Whittlesea CEO Craig Lloyd said some families may find it difficult to find funds for food over the Christmas period and presents.

“This year has been like no other, and the kindness of strangers and people who can give generously is one of the ways to support each other when times are tough,” Mr Lloyd said.

“We encourage anybody that can give to this local food and toy drive to please do so.”

Whittlesea Emergency Relief Network Chair and Whittlesea Community Connections Emergency Relief Coordinator Ginette Beguely said the focus of this year’s appeal was on toys and gifts.

“We are particularly encouraging gifts that would suit older children aged 10 to 17 years – things like gift cards or movie vouchers,” she said.

“Our community does like to give and is usually extra generous at this time of year and that is very much appreciated. However, COVID-19 has impacted the whole community.

“Thinking about kids without adequate food or a present to wake up to on Christmas morning is a heartbreaking thought.

“If you can donate, it could mean a brighter Christmas for someone living in our community.”

Donations will be shared with local emergency relief services to provide Christmas food hampers and toys to community in need of support throughout December.

Non-perishable food and new, unwrapped, toys and gifts can be dropped off at Yarra Plenty Regional Library branches in Whittlesea, Lalor, Thomastown, and Mill Park until Monday December 14.

Parker’s Auto Plus in Whittlesea township and Commonwealth Bank branches in the City of Whittlesea are also accepting toy donations.

*Due to COVID-19 restrictions, fluffy and soft toys are not accepted.

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