First Sunday Club: Project Love and Care
Christmas 1975 and there was just one toy I was whispering about in Santa’s ear. One toy I desperately wanted, longed to own, dreamt of unwrapping under the tree on Christmas morning. That toy was Baby Alive. She cried! She ate! She made a disgusting mess in her plastic nappy! And as a three year old I was desperate for her. Unfortunately in the 70s so was every other three year old girl. My poor mother tried countless toyshops but couldn’t get her hands on a Baby Alive in time for Christmas. So in her place I unwrapped a doll with red curly hair and a gigantic goofy smile and eyes that rolled around like Lindsay Lohan’s after the MTV Awards. I spent much of the day in tears. As for Santa Claus? He and I were no longer speaking.
While I’ve had fabulous Christmases and birthdays since (okay except for the year “Santa” gave me a bike helmet and Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth album), I can still remember my utter disappointment that year.
This is the difficult part of Christmas. For kids in particular, it’s full of expectation. Expectation that Santa will come and that of course he’ll bring you that X Box or bike or those Ben 10 walkie-talkies you so desperately want. The fact that dad has been retrenched or mum is drowning in bills is irrelevant when you’re a child. Christmas is about singing Away In A Manger and eating Nanna’s pudding and Santa. End of story. Well, not quite. This year thousands of children will be waking up to nothing. And they’re often the kids who had nothing to start with.
There are countless charities that work hard to deliver toys to families in need and they all do a wonderful job. But for December’s First Sunday Club I’m nominating an organisation you’ve probably never heard of: Project Love and Care. This tiny not-for-profit group, based in Inala, is run by Ann George and her friends. Together they dedicate their time to making up “care kits” for children going into foster care.
From a new toothbrush and fresh underwear to shampoo and pyjamas – they’re the type of items you and I take for granted. Ann’s kits are given to the Department of Child Safety who help distribute the packs to the growing number of kids who come through their doors.
So this month, let’s donate $20 (yes, double our usual amount) to Project Love and Care to help them continue their work. 100% of your donation will go towards providing a new toy for a foster child. Or you can buy your own present and organise to drop it off at the Project Love and Care Headquarters. Our own kids won’t notice if we spend $20 less on them at Christmas. But there’s a child out there whose face will light up thanks to that Ben 10 figure or those Dora Explorer walkie-talkies you paid for.
For more information go to www.projectloveandcare.com or call Ann on 07 3372 8493.
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Over the past 25 years Rebecca Sparrow has earned a living as a travel writer, a television publicist, a marketing executive, a magazine editor, a TV scriptwriter, a radio producer, a newspaper columnist and as an author.
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