Urgent appeal for toys

Evelyn Dennis of HICCI, Rosanna Miguel Bendigo Bank, Karen Roberts Yarra Ranges council and HICCIs Sheree Laumen and Alison Gommers. 188027_01

By Michael Doran

HICCI, a network of Christian churches in Healesville and Yarra Glen, has been handing out Christmas hampers and children’s gifts to locals for around 25 years.

Sheree Laumen, Emergency Relief Manager, said that each year they provide help to more than 200 families, but to do that this year toy donations are urgently needed.

“Most people think of Christmas as a happy time but for many people it’s not,” she said. “The hampers help people to actually have a meal on the table or give their kids a present on Christmas Day.”

“We’re asking people to bring in new, unwrapped gifts that are suitable for kids up to 12 years old. All sorts of things are popular like toys, lego, tip trucks and books are always a wonderful gift.

“Each hamper has a nice tin of ham, Christmas cake, plum pudding, lollies and shortbread cookies. We always need more treats for the hampers that go to bigger families but anything non-perishable is welcome.

“We need to have them by the first week in December and people can drop them off at HICCI or the Bendigo Bank in Healesville.

“We know people are doing it tough and have had a really hard time so this our opportunity to give them something to make their life a little bit brighter.

“It is also our time to say thank you to the community for all they do for us during the year because we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without the community’s support and our wonderful volunteers.”

So the message from HICCI is simple – please donate a toy or non-perishable food now so they can help local people find a little bit of joy this Christmas.