The mission: To procure donations of toys from generous patrons of KIDSTUFF stores in order to bring a Merrier Christmas to the children of people who access our services, including:
• The Women and Children program at Blacktown
• Caboolture and Hervey Bay
• Ulladulla, Bega, and Broken Hill
The method: Publicise the work of RichmondPRA through KIDSTUFF stores and provide information about how we support people living with mental health issues to get back on their feet and be there for their kids. Customers buy a toy of their choice and leave it under the Hope Tree in their nearest Kidstuff store.
The result: This year, a massive 535 toys were collected, totaling about $10,500 in value (that’s an average gift value of $21.00). Last year it was 220 toys at a value of $4,600, which means this drive raised more than double the amount!
Because of the EXTRAORDINARY generosity of KIDSTUFF customers, we were able to share our toys with another charity called Give and Take (you can find out more about Give and Take here). We have included a thank you message from Give and Take which was received at the close of business of a very busy day helping Santa:
WOW thank you so much that was WONDERFUL.
We have been inundated with requests from families and even up until this morning have received requests for more assistance from families. One family in Kellyville was robbed the other night and they stole ALL the kids toys and gifts for Christmas. Another family has a homeless dad who can’t afford anything for his children. Another family has a teenager who has been suicidal and they have experienced so much chaos and medical costs the past month they can’t afford presents for the kids. Your donation was greatly appreciated thank you so very much we will post a big thank you on our page after xmas
Thank you again xxx
From Give and Take
The important thing in all this is the joy brought to the children. Also, through this toy drive, RichmondPRA was able to get its message out and gain public awareness for our support programs!
When Panorama asked coordinator Jasmin Buchal who we should thank, this is what she said:
“As well as KIDSTUFF and their fabulous customers, we owe thanks to so many people who did so much work to achieve this great result, including the lovely Clare Evans, Heather Kjoller, Natasha Harding, John Maraz and his children, Kok Lau and Alison Perizi at Figtree, plus the people at RichmondPRA Five Dock and Buckingham House and Jodi Bunt at Newcastle and Denise Sands at Caboolture…people who braved rain, hail, thunder, lightning and lengthy traffic jams and car breakdowns to make it work.
“And let’s not forget the people from various RichmondPRA services such as Goulburn, Parkes, Temora and Business Services employees who made the gift tags and KWIK KOPY Surry Hills, especially Ashleigh who helped cut out the Hope Tree Star Signs. Most of all, Jane Miller who provided physical, emotional and cognitive support!
“But that’s not all: QANTAS gave us generous help with logistics in moving toys from Melbourne to Sydney, Westfield gave us publicity on their web site, and let’s not forget the publicity for RichmondPRA in the 600,000 copies of the Kidstuff catalog.
“But that’s STILL not all! Matthew Brotherson and Quorum donated digital screens which helped publicise our cause under the Hope Trees in various stores. We think this had a lot to do with the huge increase in toys this year.”
Jas was still rattling off names as our deadline to go to print passed by…but she didn’t forget Lisa Sampson of Free Radical Enterprises who had the idea in the first place, and she certainly didn’t forget YOU either! So thank you all. And thanks, Jas!
(Oh, PS, and thank you to Peter Farrugia for helping to put up the ten-foot Christmas Tree!)