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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Toy drive hopes to make Christmas bright

For over 30 years, Newcastle Permanent has joined forces with The Salvation Army to brighten Christmas for families in need across the Hunter, by collecting presents for children and teenagers.

“We’re calling on our people, their families and the local community to help us collect a record number of donated presents this year to share with The Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy Drive Appeal,” Newcastle Permanent Chief Executive Bernadette Inglis said. 

“We know this partnership makes a real difference to our customers and communities. Over the last three decades we’ve helped to ensure that thousands of presents were found by children under Christmas trees that may have been bare.” 

From today through to Monday 21 December, all Newcastle Permanent branches across NSW will become collection points for toys and gifts.  

“There’s a real spirit of generosity among our people and many of them, despite the challenges they’ve faced in 2020, have already brought in gifts to help The Salvos reach their target of collecting 500,000 donated presents this December,” Ms Inglis said.

“So many families across our communities have felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and we’re committed to helping these people through what should be a joyful time for all.”

With the need so great this year, local branches across the Hunter region are encouraging children to get involved.

“Any gift of any value will help and be warmly received,” Newcastle Permanent’s Local Regional Manager Carly Bush said.

“You don’t have to give a lot, just whatever you can.

“Presents should be new, unwrapped, unused and can be of any value.

“We’re particularly hoping to make this year special for teenagers in our local area so, in addition to presents for younger kids, gifts like accessories, movie tickets, sports equipment, electrical appliances like hair straighteners and gift vouchers for the likes of eBay, shopping centres, Netflix or department stores will really help.”

The Salvation Army’s Major David Collinson said the initiative has long been making Christmases special across the Hunter.

“Christmas can be a really difficult time for some families,” he said.

“We have experienced a significant increase in applications for assistance this year and we are so grateful for our ongoing partnership with Newcastle Permanent as this generosity helps inspire others to give also.

“We hope to collect 500,000 gifts this year across the nation and every one of these gifts will find its place in a stocking or underneath a tree on Christmas morning.

“These generous community donations are motivated by kindness and that’s incredibly heartening because that is after-all what the Christmas spirit is all about.”

Newcastle Permanent donation collection points will be open until close of business on 21 December.

A full list of much-needed gifts can be found here.