Everything from dolls, sandpit toys, books to crayons and board games have been placed under Howlong’s Ray White Christmas giving tree, with staff hoping to double last year’s gifts.
The “Little Ray of Giving” campaign collects gifts for Country Hope Albury Wodonga who provide family centred support to country children diagnosed with cancer and other chronic life-threatening illnesses.
Howlong Ray White Property Manager Romee Thwaites said the donations of gifts help disadvantaged children who may need a little extra “light” in their festive season.
“This is our second year running this campaign and we want 2017 to be our biggest year yet,” she said.
“We had a great first year with 96 individual gifts, so it would be great to double that this year.”
Howlong Ray White Director Anthony Hartshorn said they were calling on the local community to embrace the giving season and dig deep for children who need it most.
“We would love to see the local community rally around this charity and put smiles on the faces of sick kids this Christmas,” he said.
Mr Hartshorn said the idea was simple.
“All you need to do is drop your gift into the office, you don’t even have to wrap it, we will do that part for you,” he said.
“It’s a really simple way to put a smile on the face of a young child who might otherwise go without this Christmas.
“Just a small gift can make the biggest difference to families who are struggling.”
For every gift donated, the generous person will be entered into the draw to win a Carlton Football Club away jersey signed by Brownlow medallist and former captain Chris Judd.
A charity golf night is also being held this evening (December 13) which will raise funds to purchase extra gifts.
Mr Hartshorn said the 6-hole golf event would kick off with registrations at 5.30pm and tee off from 6pm at the Howlong Golf Resort.
There will be a free barbecue afterwards.
Registration is $15 and all participants will go into a draw to win the Carlton jersey.
People can register early at http://raywhitehowlong.com.au/news/2017-charity-golf-evening or turn up on the night.
“All of the money raised will go to buy more gifts,” Mr Hartshorn said.
“Gifts for girls aged between 12 and 14 years old were the hardest gifts to fill we found out last year.”
Ray White is located at 1/47 Hawkins Street, Howlong and will have its special giving tree in the front office with donations accepted up until December 18.
Country Hope will distribute the gifts to families before Christmas.
Ray White has run the initiative across Australia and New Zealand each December since 2012.
Last year more than 300 offices across Australia and New Zealand helped raise 30,000 gifts for disadvantaged families.