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Little Elves Project Making Christmas Better for Kids

Two young Gold Coast boys are on a mission to make Christmas a little brighter for kids in foster care. They’ve called this The Little Elves Project.

With the help of their mum and the local businesses, they are hosting a free community event on November 18 at Parkwood Village.

The Little Elves Project

Event organiser Kate Armstrong couldn’t be prouder of her sons Jack, 8, and Hayden, 5, in fact it was their idea to give gifts to kids in foster care.

Hayden even offered to give some of his own toys to Queensland children in care, but his brother Jack suggested a project where everyone just donated one gift.

“We’re hoping that as many people as possible can donate just one unwrapped new gift for children aged from 1 to 17,” Kate says.

“It doesn’t just have to be toys; it can be clothes, board games, sporting goods or gift vouchers.”

Students at Park Lake State School in Pacific Pines, the boys have been busy helping their mum organise a fun day to thank the community.

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Free community event at Parkwood Village

On November 18, from 9am to 1pm, The Little Elves Project is hosting a free family fun day where they’ll be entertainment, food and lots of fun.

This is being hosted at Parkwood Village in Parkwood. It’s the home of the Gold Coast Titans and is located at 76-122 Napper Road.

“We’re simply asking for those who attend to bring a new unwrapped gift that can be given to a child in foster care this Christmas,” says Kate.

“As well as gathering as many gifts as we can, we want the day to be a big thank you to the community for getting behind the boys’ idea.

“We also want to thank the community for supporting kids in foster care, of which there are nearly 9000 in Queensland.”

Free entertainment, bouncy castles and face painting

Local radio station Hot Tomato will be there on the day and free entertainment will include balloon twisters, face painting and a jumping castle.

Kate says there’ll also be raffles and the Queensland Police are bringing a vehicle for kids to check out. A fire truck will also be there.

Also, Batman and Elsa will make a special appearance between 10.30am-11.30am and there’ll be rally cars and street performers.

Get more details about the event by visiting The Little Elves Project Facebook page here.

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Bring a smile to a child in foster care across Queensland

Originally Kate and her sons aimed to collect 500 gifts for children foster care. So far they’ve smashed that goal with almost 1000.

There are about 1800 children and young people in the Gold Coast region who are living in care.

But with nearly 9000 kids in foster care across the state, Kate says she’d love to be able to give a gift to every child in care in Queensland.

“It would be incredible if we reached our goal. I know the boys would be over the moon if their little idea was a success and thousands of children woke up on Christmas morning to a gift lovingly
donated,” says Kate.

Be a true secret santa

In addition, GIVIT’s chief executive Juliette Wright will attend the Parkwood event. GIVIT is a national online non-profit that connects those who need with those willing to give.

“Christmas can be an especially tough time of year for our most vulnerable Australians. Through givit.org.au, Queenslanders are able to donate items all year round, but The Little Elves Project is a special campaign,” she says.

“We are also encouraging everyone to be a true secret Santa by dropping off a brand new unwrapped gift at an official collection point. These can be found via www.qld.gov.au/bringasmiletoachild.

“People can also donate funds to purchase gifts via givit.org.au and bring a smile to a child in care.”

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Where you can donate an unwrapped new gift

Amanda Currie is the regional executive director for the South East Region of the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services. She said her region would love to see every child in care receive an extra gift this Christmas.

“We know Christmas can be a difficult time for kids in care. This is why I encourage south east residents to get behind our annual gift drive to show them how important they are and valued in our community,” she said.

“We are hoping to gather a range of gifts for young people of all ages, both boys and girls, and valued at about $20 each.

The Department is partnering with GIVIT and the Road Boss Rally to collect and deliver gifts to children in care.

You can get details about local drop off locations and gift ideas by visiting www.qld.gov.au/bringasmiletoachild

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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