Christmas shop for families in need

A Christmas shop bursting with teddy bears, dolls, building blocks and art supplies opened its wonderland doors this week to help families who were facing financial difficulty.

The Christmas Shop is an annual event run by West Gippsland Healthcare Group’s Community Health Team with a generous annual grant from the Andrews Foundation.

Staff and volunteers transformed the Petit Centre at West Gippsland Healthcare Group’s Gladstone Street community health centre into a Christmas spectacular stocked with gifts and goodies for people of all ages.

Clients of West Gippsland Healthcare Group who are facing social and financial difficulties were nominated by their case workers to visit the shop during December and choose Christmas gifts for their children.

The Christmas shop was also opened up for our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community for a community day at Gladstone Street on Friday 2 December.

West Gippsland Healthcare Group Director of Allied and Community Health Audra Fenton said 84 families visited the Christmas Shop this year.

“We had 84 families visit our Christmas Shop and choose gifts for 204 children,” Ms Fenton said.

“To be able to spread some Christmas joy and bring a smile to the faces of our clients is just so incredibly rewarding. That is simply why we do what we do.

“We say a big thank you to the Andrews Foundation, supporting retailers and all of our staff and volunteers for their contribution in creating the shop once again this year.”

The gifts were purchased from Kmart, Toyworld and Priceline Pharmacy who have been supporting the program each year.

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