Kids give other kids Christmas gifts

Last updated 05:00 17/12/2013
Jessica and Zoe Searby

SPREADING CHEER: Jessica and Zoe Searby worked hard to earn money so they could buy presents for the Christmas Appeal.

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Presents are piling up under the Rodney Times' Christmas tree, thanks to residents' hard work.

Seven-year-old Jessica Searby and her five-year-old sister Zoe, from Red Beach School, dropped off their presents for the Rodney Times, Women's Centre Rodney and Hestia Rodney Women's Refuge Christmas appeal on Wednesday.

They did chores for their nana and parents to earn the money to buy presents for the appeal, Jessica says.

"We went to our nana's and sorted out her cutlery, business cards and DVDs. And we did some weeding and filled up the whole wheelie bin," she says.

At home they hung out the washing, cleaned the bathroom and did the dishes.

With her earnings Jessica bought a Littlest Pet Shop Totally Talented Pet Band set and a chocolate marshmallow Santa to put under the tree for needy kids.

Zoe got a rainbow My Little Pony and a FurReal Friends pussy cat to donate.

Jessica was amazed at the numberof presents.

"Those kids are going to be lucky this Christmas."

Present co-ordinator Heather Ringrose is amazed by people's generosity.

"One young lady came in a couple of weeks go to make sure the collection didn't finish before she got her fortnightly pay cheque. She came back in with hand- picked gifts she thinks will be welcomed by teenagers."

Many elderly residents have also made a huge effort, providing handmade gifts.

The presents are nearly double that donated last year, Mrs Ringrose says.

Women's Centre Rodney co-ordinator Colleen Julian says the presentswill be put to good use.

"We are really overwhelmed with the fantastic generosity and spirit of the community and the high quality gifts.

"It is quite humbling just how overwhelmed woman are when they collect what has been passed onto them and how emotional they get about it because often they have nothing for their children."

The centre thanks the Foodlink food bank supplying parcels for organisations across Rodney.

Hestia Rodney Women's Refuge works with more than 800 families and has welcomed 43 families into their safe houses this year.

Hestia service manager Oriel Heseltine says the refuge has four vehicles delivering presents and food to families just before Christmas.

" For some of the families Christmas is a non-event because they have nothing."

The Christmas appeal wraps up tomorrow.

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- Rodney Times

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