It’s been a really tough year for so many kids and their carers, but we aren’t going to let that take away the excitement of Christmas!
Every year we reach out for your help to make sure kids in foster and kinship care have a wonderful surprise waiting for them under the tree to make them feel treasured at Christmas. And every year, without fail, you, our army of Christmas elves jump into action to make that happen!
While 2020 has been a lot of things, it’s not going to be the Grinch who stole Christmas! While many of our usual businesses may not have a gifting tree out where you can drop your donations, we’ve all become masters of online shopping this year, and that’s going to be our superpower to kick COVID in the rear and make this Christmas as special as ever.
In 2019 we gifted to more than 700 families. That’s a lot of pressies and a lot of joy you’ve brought at a time of year that can be very emotional for kids who aren’t able to spend it with their birth parent/s or siblings. This year we want to make sure we can reach that many and more.
How can you help?
Get online and get shopping for deliver toys, stocking stuffers and other goodies (items under $40 only please). Gift cards from Target, Kmart and Big W etc are always welcome too (up to $30)!
Deliver your purchases straight to our volunteer gift wrapping elves at:
PO Box 1138 Sale Vic, 3850
132 Johnsons Rd Dutson Vic 3851 for items that can’t be shipped to a PO Box
We need to get started early, to give our elves time to wrap – any gifts you can send our way as early as possible will be received with a happy dance on behalf of the little munchkins who we know will be over the moon to receive your gifts this Christmas.
Ps. Need some shopping inspiration? Here are some ideas (try and support your local stores if you can! We’re all in this together!):
- Board and picture books for bubbas
- Toys, games, colouring and puzzle books, jigsaw puzzles
- Lego and Meccano sets
- Craft and art kits (Spotlight have lots of these)
- STEM toys (make your own electronics etc)
- Kids watches
- Dress ups
- Sport and outdoor activities equipment
- Your imagination is the limit!
Christmas Q&A with Heather Baird, Founder and Coordinator at A Better Life For Foster Kids
What did Christmas mean to you as a child and now?
As a child growing up in institutions Christmas was not a big thing. I can barely remember it, I know we went into a room and were allowed 1 present from the toys, usually a doll for the girls and a truck for the boys. I think we might have got a new nightie too.
Now I adore Christmas with my family. I love that my children and grandchildren will have wonderful memories of their Christmas’s to carry throughout their lives. We have Christmas lunch with my husband’s family and Christmas Tea at ours so it’s a full day of giving and love.
Why did you start the Christmas gifting program at A Better Life for Foster Kids?
We started this program because I didn’t want any child to have Christmas’s like I did, and also to make it a little less of a strain at Christmas for the Carers. What I love about our program is that we include all children, even the biological children of the families. This acknowledges the sacrifices they make to share their Mum and Dad with other children less fortunate than themselves. It’s an acknowledgement for them and strengthens the family ties.
I was also asked by many in our Community if they could teach their own children the joy of sharing with others less fortunate: parents will take their children shopping and the kiddies bring the gifts to our hall and they are brimming with pride, I think that’s the best thing of all.
Can you tell us about some of the reactions from kids and carers who’ve received gifts in the past?
The amount of messages I get thanking us is amazing, some just acknowledging the thought and also the gift. One that stands out is the young biological boy of one family thanking me for including him as no one had done that before and he now looks forward to his gift card and little gift each Christmas. Carers say it just makes it a little easier, some of the children go home for a few days and our gifts can be opened with the foster family before Christmas Day. But mainly it a big thank you for the thought.
What’s your favourite gift you’ve ever given?
That’s a hard one, I always take the time to make a gift really personal and meaningful, I suppose growing up without much gift giving they mean a lot. I get so much joy from seeing the reactions of the gifts I’ve chosen for them all I don’t really think I could pick one favourite.
What was the most meaningful gift you ever received?
Would have to be the first portrait my children gave me of them all together, they organised their Uncle to take the photos and did it all themselves without me knowing. Then it came time for the Grandchildren’s which they organised last Christmas and they are amazing. Photos mean so to me as I only have 1 photo of me growing up with nothing else until I left the homes at 18.