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Lois Waugh helped out with the wrapping in 2021. File photo: KELLEY TANTAU

Share joy through Christmas toy appeal

It’s that time of year when a group of Santa’s helpers wrap and distribute presents donated by kind-hearted residents eager to share the Christmas spirit.
The Paeroa Baptist Church is once again organising its annual Christmas Toy Appeal, and locals are being asked to drop unwrapped gifts under a tree in the Paeroa Information Hub before December 6.
Co-ordinator Jill Robertson said the appeal remained a much-needed precursor to Christmas.
“When I came on-board I didn’t realise, looking from the outside-in, how much of a community thing this is,” she told The Profile.
“The communication we’ve had from interested parties has been a real confirmation that there is a need in the community, and I’m excited about working with the community on this.”
A dedicated team of volunteers will be wrapping the donated presents on December 9, before the gifts get distributed to around 20 organisations who supply the volunteers with names and ages of the young recipients. Gifts are given to children from babies to 12 years, and Jill – who is a retired teacher – can’t imagine there will be a shortage of volunteers willing to help out this year.
“This is about being able to share, and everyone is bringing something to the table,” she said.
“The parents are bringing their precious children to the table, and that allows us to share what we’ve got… so, it’s not a soup kitchen, but more like a potluck.”
Jill also had advice for people wanting to donate a gift, but didn’t know where to start.
“How I thought about it was: when you’re buying for your children or grandchildren, just buy an extra gift if you can. These kids are really appreciative and they deserve just as much as our kids and grandkids,” she said.
DETAILS: Donated gifts are to be new or in excellent condition, and donations of wrapping paper is also gratefully accepted. Drop-off is at the Paeroa Info Hub in the centre of town. Place unwrapped gifts under the Christmas tree by Tuesday, December 6.