Settlement Service International’s youngest clients will receive hundreds of toys over the coming weeks thanks to the generosity of local Department of Human Services staff.
The idea of a toy drive for refugee families came to the department’s Mount Druitt Multicultural Services Officer David Jacquin while he was making room for new Christmas gifts for his own children.
Mr Jacquin approached Settlement Services International (SSI) with the idea to see if the organisation could distribute the gifts donated by the department’s staff to the many families it supports. SSI agreed and the generous scheme was born.
“When refugee families arrive here, they have nothing,” Mr Jacquin said.
“I thought, when they get here we could give the children a gift and immediately put a smile on their faces. That’s my vision for this.”
Mr Jacquin said the idea for a toy drive after Christmas had been supported enthusiastically by department staff, and so far three van-loads of toys had been collected.
“When I was cleaning up at home after Christmas, I thought ‘These toys are too good to throw out!’ I’d worked with refugees before and immediately knew what I could do with the toys.”
SSI Humanitarian Settlement Services Delivery Manager Yamamah Agha said the gifts would benefit those refugee families who may be financially vulnerable.
“It will benefit the kids whose families might not be able to afford toys like other Australians,” Yamamah said.
“You can just tell this will put smiles on their faces.”
The toys were collected at Centrelink customer service centres around Sydney and will be distributed by SSI staff to clients within those same communities.