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Baptist Care SA News

Giving dignity and love back at Christmas

Giving dignity and love back at Christmas

In the season of giving, Baptist Care SA’s WestCare Centre endeavours to bring love to a community which may at times feel very unloved. The Christmas Toy Appeal, held by the WestCare Centre, invites the wider community to give a gift to children in need between the ages of 0 and 15. 

The WestCare Centre partners with local churches and organisations within South Australia to seek money and toy donations for the appeal. Many embrace the event, using it as a time to come together and show our vulnerable families they’re not alone. From cars to dollhouses, one agency who builds toys from scratch makes wooden toys specifically for the appeal, and this will be their fifth year taking part. Families are allocated a 15-minute time slot to pick out gifts for their children between 5 and 7 December. 

Transformed into the ultimate Christmas wonderland, the training rooms are almost unrecognisable, decked out in red tinsel with colourful Christmas trees in every corner. Laid bare on the vibrant, Christmas-themed tables is the generosity of others, overflowing with toys, stationery, makeup, and sports equipment for the children. Tears of joy and gratitude are often shed as parents witness their children excited and smiling at Christmas, and the children relish in their fun new gifts.  

Parents enjoy keeping the toy appeal a surprise for their children, who receive the greatest shock when they enter the room, before they are overwhelmed with the excitement of opening their new gifts. Every year, the Christmas Toy Appeal hopes children will leave full of joy, with knowledge that people do care for them.  

The overwhelming sense of kindness and love is even too much for staff at times, who often need time to compose themselves. In 2021, the Christmas Toy Appeal saw over 4,500 toys given to children resulting in the need for an extra day. This year, the goal is to extend the appeal again, and with the high demand, it is possible.  

To everyone who has donated, thank you, these families’ Christmases are now happy memories.