Urgent need for Salvos’ Christmas Toy Drive Appeal donations

Newcastle Permanent Coffs Branch manager Erica Farag and Salvos pastor Major Andrew van Gaalan at the Coffs Harbour presentation


DONATIONS are urgently requested for Salvos annual Christmas Toy Drive Appeal run by The Salvation Army and Newcastle Permanent.

Coffs Harbour’s local Salvation Army pastor, Andrew van Gaalen, said with job and income losses due to COVID-19 he expects there will be more children who, without the help of the Salvos, won’t have a present to open this year.

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Andrew has been involved for three years and says he loves those moments when a parent gets to select a present, often crying with joy and relief.

“A surprise gift under the Christmas tree will bring a smile to a young person as well as to a parent or carer who is unable to afford gifts this year,” Major van Gaalen told News Of The Area.

“If you can, please come and put a gift under the tree at the Newcastle Permanent’s Coffs Harbour branch.

“We’re very grateful for the support of Newcastle Permanent staff in collecting the gifts, and to those who volunteer to help us sort and distribute them too.”

He said, this year, there may be people who have not reached out to the Salvos or other support agencies for help before.

“It is the people who don’t come to see us for help that we worry about, so please get in touch.”

Newcastle Permanent’s Coffs Harbour Branch Manager Erica Farag has been involved in every Coffs toy drive since the branch opened 15 years ago and says the local community is always very generous with their donations.

“We have people who donate every year, even people who do not bank with the Newcastle Permanent,” Erica said.

She is encouraging people to also think of gifts for teenagers, especially boys, who can miss out on suitable gifts.

“We get lots of lovely gifts for little children, but gift cards or vouchers can be useful for older children,” she said.

Gifts should be new and unwrapped.

Gift ideas include toys, clothing, books, sporting equipment, games, beauty products, fashion accessories and gift vouchers.

Donations can be made at the Park Beach Plaza branch, or any other Newcastle Permanent branch, until Monday 20 December 2021.

To contact the Coffs Harbour Salvos call 6690 1700 or visit 40 Mastracolas Road.

Visit www.salvationarmy.org.au/coffsharbour for support information and opening hours.



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