Spreading Christmas cheer
Families at the Kalangadoo Primary School are set for a Merry Christmas after a collaboration between the school, Four Reasons Why and Mount Gambier High School saw gifts delivered to ensure each student at the school receives multiple gifts on Christmas Day.
The gifts are handed over to the school’s families so they can pop them under the tree for December 25 celebrations.
The collaboration is in its fourth year and sees Mount Gambier High School students working on the gift project as part of their SACE.
Four Reasons Why acts as the middle man, matching the donated gifts with the Kalangadoo families but the vast majority of the gift giving program is down to the work of the students.
They advertise the program, wrap the gifts, deliver the gifts and take charge of all other logistics required to ensure no one misses out.
Four Reasons Why has a similar collaborative project with Melaleuca Park Kindergarten with both the Kalangadoo and Melaleuca Park children all receiving a handmade Christmas stocking, along with the gifts, thanks to Mary May who is the mastermind behind the stockings. The Melaleuca Park Kindergarten collaboration has been running for five years.
Four Reasons Why founder Trudi Shelton (pictured with the Mount Gambier High Schoool students & the gifts for the Kalangadoo Primary School families) said the Christmas gift programs were so well supported by the community.
“We were worried this year, with more people needing help but so many in the community struggling with the cost of living but people are just so generous and we have been able to fulfil all our commitments,” she said.
On top of the long standing school programs, Four Reasons Why will also be handing out 200 gift bags to families in need as part of their Apple Farm partnership.
The 200 gift bags being delivered to families have the potential to reach around 800 adults and children.
The Apple Farm Christmas Party, which is being held on December 17 this year, has been running for five years and has traditionally raised funds for children in foster care but this year has identified a new demographic.
“After consultation with ac.care and Department for Child Protection it was deemed that there are enough funds for those children at Christmas and funds were better utilised elsewhere so we decided to target families who are doing it tough, some even at risk of losing their children,” Trudi said.
“Our aim is to have a positive impact with a substantial gift to the household.”
Wellbeing Coordinator at North Gambier School Simone Badenoch, who has more than 30 years’ experience, suggested vouchers would empower families to shop for themselves this Christmas.
The 2023 Four reasons Why packs contain a $50 Coles and $50 Kmart voucher, as well as a $30 Foodbank voucher and a $21 Family Day Pass for the pool at Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.
“We want families choosing a toy for their child, choosing some Christmas treats and buying some pantry items,” Trudi said.
“And we want families to enjoy a free and fun day out, pack some lunch, stay the whole day at Wulanda Recreation and Convention Centre.”
The families in need are being identified through school wellbeing teams, school principals, Centacare, the Limestone Coast Domestic Violence Service and Sunset Kitchen and the bags will end up with families from Mount Gambier based primary & secondary schools, Nangwarry, Kalangadoo, Penola, Millicent and Yahl.
The Foour Reasons Why raffle is raising the $30,000 needed to fund this ambitious program and the good news is, the target has almost been met so all 200 bags will be put together and handed out.
You can purchase a raffle ticket by heading to the Four Reasons Why facebook page and following the links to the online ticket sales.
The Apple Farm Christmas Party runs from 12-5pm on December 17 with live entertainment, Bush Buddies, the drawing of the Monster Raffle and a visit from Santa at 3pm.