Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

While many of us are lucky enough to find a present or two under the Christmas tree, there are many families who will go without this year.

But the Gunnedah Christmas Toy Drive is hoping to make a difference.

Gunnedah Shire Council has teamed up with Gunnedah Salvation Army in their 10th Annual Community Christmas Toy Drive appeal, and they are calling for community support.

“Our sole aim is to bring a bit of cheer to those families doing it tough throughout this period.” Said Debra Hilton, Gunnedah Shire Council’s Community and Social Planner.

“What we are seeing is its not just the low-income families doing it tough, because of the rising cost of living more average income families are finding it harder and harder to make do with this Christmas period.”

New and unwrapped gifts can be dropped to the Salvation Army or under the Christmas tree located in the foyer of the Gunnedah Shire Council administration building on Elgin St in Gunnedah, and at the Gunnedah Shire Library, 291 Conadilly St.

“Because of health and hygiene reasons we cannot except preloved toys or preloved clothing, and to help us match the gifts to the appropriate family, if they could please be unwrapped, that would be super helpful.” said Debra.

Gift ideas include toys, clothing and accessories, books, sporting goods, games, beauty products and gift vouchers.

“The toys are donated to local families and local farming families throughout our shire, so the reach of the appeal is quite extensive.” Said Debra.

The Salvation Army says its going to be a tough Christmas for many this year.

“Last year we had the floods and this year it’s the cost of living and trying to survive and paying those everyday bills that have gotten so expensive.” said Peter Hall, Gunnedah Salvation Army.

“Anything that you can donate that could bring someone joy is great,”

“So far we have had a fantastic community response.”

The generosity of the local community never ceases to amaze the organisers.

“The one thing Gunnedah resident have is bucket loads of compassion and kindness and each year they come through for us and donate hundreds of items for local families.” Said Debra.

And there are many ways you can donate give back this holiday season.

“It’s good to know there are people out there who want to help other people who may be struggling, and we welcome any donations, or even your time to help out in the other ways we are serving in the community over the Christmas period.” Said Peter.

The final collection date for donations is Friday 8th December 2023.

“On behalf of Gunnedah Shire Council and the Gunnedah Salvation Army a huge thanks to everyone who has participated this year but also in the preceding nine years, you are amazing, and it is greatly appreciated.”  said Debra.