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Donations needed to bring DV survivors some Christmas spirit


The Hunter community is being urged to help make Christmas brighter for men, women and children, who’ll spend the festive season in a local refuge fleeing domestic violence (DV).

Charity Friends With Dignity this week launched its annual Christmas Toy Drive.

The donated gifts will go to people staying in, or being supported by, local refuges such as Carrie’s Place, Jenny’s Place, Nova and other crisis accommodation centres.

Friends With Dignity CEO Manuela Whitford said Christmas was meant to be a time of joy and hope but many fleeing DV would not be spending it in their home.

Friends With Dignity CEO Manuela Whitford. Photo: Jerad Williams

“Workplaces may wish to organise a group donation of gifts,” she stated.

“That could make Christmas a little brighter for someone going through a really difficult and traumatic time.

“Donating via mycause is also a simple way to help and ensure we can purchase gifts for teenagers, who often miss out because people mostly, generously, donate toys for little children.”

Ms Whitford admitted it was mostly women and their children in need of the Christmas support.

“We are currently in the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women, which is a fitting time to also think about helping those who have experienced violence,” she said.

“Parents fleeing domestic violence often don’t have the money to spare to get their kids a Christmas present.

“This is where we step in.

“The Charlestown team at Allianz is supporting the drive for a second consecutive year, too.”

Unwrapped goods and gifts can be taken to Storage King, 54A Clyde Street, Hamilton North, or Friends With Dignity volunteers are able to pick them up from a workplace between 13 and 17 December.

To arrange a collection, email [email protected]

Individuals can also donate via mycause and Friends With Dignity will purchase items that align with the people staying in local refuges.

The charity has been coordinating its toy drive for six years.

In 2021, it was able to donate more than 4,000 toys and gifts to refuges in the Hunter, South East Queensland and Perth.

To find out more about its programs, to volunteer or to donate, visit

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