A Christmas toy appeal for young flood victims launched by a Gold Coast retirement village has received an overwhelming response, with more than 140 gifts donated.
The toy appeal was initiated by The Verge at Burleigh resident and Social Committee Chair Jeff Burchell after he witnessed the flooding devastation firsthand during a trip to Evans Heads in September.
“We were taken for a drive to see the mess nearby towns Woodburn and Coraki were in and realised how many kids would be doing it tough this Christmas with so many having nowhere to live, and others in caravans and tents,” Mr Burchell said.
“They were the forgotten towns in the major floods with no electricity for two weeks. Straight away The Verge community decided we would contribute to something worthy and wanted, and something we knew would get there and be appreciated.”
Mr Burchell said he had been “overwhelmed” by the generosity of The Verge residents and local community.
Mermaid Beach Bowls Club, where Mr Burchell volunteers, also acted a gift drop-off location.
“We have had a fantastic response. Everyone has given so freely of gifts and the people that haven’t been able to get to shops have donated cash so we could buy on their behalf,” Mr Burchell said.
“I recently sent a photo to the Coraki Hub, where the gifts are being donated to, and received a message back to say they were in tears seeing the number of gifts.”
The range of donated gifts includes everything from the ever-popular Barbie and board games to soft toys and kids’ books.
“This toy appeal has truly been a labour of love for The Verge’s craft group who have taken great joy in wrapping all the gifts and adding a homemade gift card with the age of the child each gift is suitable for,” Mr Burchell said.
The Verge Village Manager Giselle Spice said she could not be prouder of what Mr Burchell and the residents had achieved.
“It just goes to show how caring The Verge community is and how much community spirit there is among the residents,” she said.
“They believe you can achieve anything if you do it together. And thanks to their efforts hundreds of children in Woodburn and Coraki will have a Christmas to remember. It’s very touching to think about.”
The Verge at Burleigh is owned and operated by RetireAustralia. RetireAustralia is a leading owner, operator and developer of retirement villages in Australia, with 28 retirement villages across New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia. Our retirement communities are highly valued by retirees due to the transparency of our purchase process, the convenient locations, and the safe, caring and supportive communities where older Australians can feel right at home, both now and in the years ahead.