Paying it forward for the kids

Paying it forward for the kids

Shelley Hubon with the Gifting Forward tree at Stargate Shopping Centre in Kelmscott.

The joy on a child’s face on Christmas morning is one of those moments that parents around the world go to great lengths to achieve.

But Christmas can be a source of heartbreak for families in crisis.

“It’s amazing how many children don’t receive gifts on Christmas Day,” HD Streetwise founder Shelley Hubon said.

The local charity which gives back ‘hope, comfort and dignity’ to those in need

has been putting together Christmas hampers for hundreds of local families in crisis for several years now.

But this year they’re going above and beyond by introducing ‘Gifting Forward’ Christmas trees, where anyone can donate a present for a local child who might not otherwise have anything to open come Christmas morning.

HD Streetwise are currently working with community mental health services to identify who would benefit from a special delivery this year.

So far 60 kids have been identified, but that could increase as Christmas approaches.

“It’s about them having something to open, to remind them that they are thought of,” Ms Hubon said.

“Any toys, books, dolls or educational gifts will be gratefully received.

“We don’t ask for large donations, because we fully understand that people are out there struggling.

“If everyone just helped a little it would make a big difference.”

Trees have been set up in the Stargate Shopping centre in Kelmscott, in the HD Streetwise Kenwick store, and at the Attfield Tavern in Maddington.

Any new, ‘as new’ or hand-made gifts are welcome.

Unwrapped is fine, but if wrapped gifts are donated, then please indicate the gender and age of the intended child.

Staff are also accepting donations of pantry items and Christmas treats for the 100-plus hampers they hope to deliver this year.

“Even cereal, biscuits and tinned foods are good – things that most of us take for granted but which can be a lifesaver for some,” Ms Hubon said.

Donations will be collected up until the morning of December 16, with hampers and presents being delivered over five days in the lead-up to Christmas.