ABC Local Radio & Berry Street: Making Christmas Magical for Vulnerable Children

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Today, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local Radio Victoria and Berry Street have launched the 2016 ABC Giving Tree Appeal to raise funds and to deliver gifts to more than 10,000 children, young people and families throughout Victoria.

For the thousands of Victorian children and young people who can’t live safely at home, as well as children in families doing it tough, the gifts provided with the support of Victorians may be the only ones they receive this Christmas.

Berry Street – Victoria’s largest independent child and family services organisations – together with its regional community partners, and ABC Radio Victoria, are calling on all Victorians to dig deep so that children recovering from abuse, neglect and trauma can experience a bit of magic this Christmas.

Berry Street’s CEO, Ms Sandie de Wolf AM, said “Christmas should be a magical time for children, young people and families, but for those impacted by violence and abuse, Christmas is often a difficult time and a reminder of what sets them apart from others.”

“Over the last year we supported 16,000 people doing it tough in Victoria, suffering the impacts by abuse, neglect and violence. Christmas is a chance for us to make them feel special and know that their community cares about them.”

“Without someone showing they care, this time of the year can be distressing, particularly for children who can’t live with their families. While they see others in the community celebrating and enjoying Christmas, they can feel very alone and isolated.”

Every year nearly 10,000 children can’t stay with their parents, because of violence, neglect and abuse.

Christmas, a time when many of us are celebrating with loved ones, is a reminder for these children of their rejection, neglect or abuse. Feeling safe and loved is what they want the most, and a special Christmas gift sends a message that someone is thinking of them.

“Christmas and the holiday season can also be a time of significant financial and emotional stress, which is why we are delighted to once again partner with ABC Radio Victoria as the recipient of this year’s ABC Giving Tree Appeal.”

“Issues such as poverty, family violence, mental health problems, gambling addictions and drug and alcohol abuse mean there are thousands of children, young people, adults and families doing it really tough right across Victoria.”

With the support of ABC Local Radio listeners, Berry Street can bring the spirit of Christmas into the lives of these vulnerable children and families.

“Last year we delivered over 10,000 gifts across the State as part of the ABC Giving Tree Appeal. This year we aim to surpass this - but to do this we need the help of Victorians and ABC listeners.”

This year ABC Local Radio listeners will be able to purchase gifts online via the ABC website.

“When you purchase a gift online as part of the ABC Giving Tree Appeal, it means that a child’s dedicated Berry Street carer can go and purchase a present specially chosen for that child. If a child receives only one gift this Christmas, we want to make sure it’s one they really want and will treasure – surely every child deserves that.”

To donate a gift:

Melbourne:  Go to abc.net.au/melbourne to purchase a gift online.

Regional Victoria: Drop off a gift at ABC Local Radio stations, or go to abc.net.au/melbourne to purchase a gift online.

What type of gifts can be donated?

  • When donating a gift, please ensure it is new, unwrapped and non-perishable (no second hand or food gifts please)
  • Your gift can be for a female or male of any age: babies, children, teenagers, young adults, mums, dads, single adults and the elderly.
  • Gift vouchers are especially welcome and allow the person to choose the gift they really need.

To find out more go to abc.net.au/melbourne.

For all media enquiries please contact Jen Willis, Berry Street Media Manager on 0459 713 484 or jwillis@berrystreet.org.au