Anglicare is reaching out to Canberrans for virtual toy donations to assist struggling families this Christmas though a Virtual Giving Tree. Anglicare’s emergency relief services in Canberra rely on community donations of food and toys, but due to COVID-19 restrictions are now experiencing both a fall in donations and an increase in demand from growing numbers of vulnerable families.
COVID-19 has affected everyone, whether through home-schooling, lost working hours or feeling isolated through months of Canberra’s lockdown. But it is children who are impacted the most. Reports from the ACT Council of Social Services show that around 9,000 children in Canberra are growing up in poverty; a sobering statistic which has been exacerbated by COVID-19.
Each year Anglicare hosts a gift room run by staff and volunteers where parents can visit and choose an appropriate present for their children. There can be a lot of shame that comes from needing to seek help but parents are always grateful it’s one less stress for them, and appreciate the opportunity to select the gifts themselves.
Anglicare’s CEO, Jeremy Halcrow said last year over 600 children received Christmas presents because of the generosity of Canberra. With an increased demand expected this year, and a lack of donations, we need Canberra’s help.
“The children need us,” Anglicare’s CEO Jeremy Halcrow says, “while we do our best to provide the basic essentials, it’s the little extra things that go such a long way. It’s so gratifying to be able to help with something that isn’t seen as an essential, but it shows children that they are loved.”
In attempts to limit exposure to volunteers, this year Anglicare are asking you to participate in their Virtual Giving Tree. Through the Anglicare website, you are able to donate toys including Lego, a new bike or scooter for the present room. While the Virtual Giving Tree is the preferred way to receive donations, online deliveries or in person donations are also welcomed.
“For children who face hunger, homelessness and poverty on a daily basis, the holiday season isn’t usually something to celebrate. We want to change this and make Christmas something to look forward to.”
You can give a gift that really makes a difference for a child and their family this Christmas.
To help families through Anglicare’s Virtual Giving Tree, CLICK HERE.
Not only is it supporting a child; it could be assisting a neighbour, friend or colleague who needs a helping hand this Christmas season.