Ballarat’s foster families will this year experience the true meaning of Christmas spirit.
The SJD Foundation, in conjunction with Child and Family Services Ballarat, have organised the production of 70 Christmas hampers for local foster families as a thanks for their immense contribution to the community.
SJD Foundation director Brayden Dorney said the initiative has received a huge contribution from local businesses.
“Usually each Christmas we try and focus on the children and give them something to look forward to,” Mr Dorney said.
“We thought this year that we would mix it up, do something different and give something back to the foster families, because they’ve given so much to the children that they’ve taken in out of the goodness of their heart.
Ballarat Golf City and Sovereign Hill are major contributors, having both donated family passes – with Sovereign Hill’s 70 family passes worth $10,000.
Mr Dorney said the Shepp Cannery Surplus was also crucial to the project, while he praised the community for their donations throughout the year.
Alongside the family passes, the hampers include bon bons, chocolate pudding, fruit cake, lollies, biscuits, wafers and other assorted sweets.
CAFS Ballarat community engagement co-ordinator Neil Boyack said the gesture could significantly impact each family’s Christmas.
“It’s amazing how much little things like that can make a difference,” Mr Boyack said.
"It gives the family a reason to get out of the house.”
“It just takes a layer off – the kids can open the presents and the carers don’t have to worry about snacks.
Sovereign Hill manager of retail operations Nicole Roberts said it was a worthy cause to support.
“I spoke to Jeremy Johnson (Sovereign Hill chief executive) to see if we could contribute with something,” Ms Roberts said.
“He said let’s do it, let’s give back to the Ballarat community and there’s no better way to give back to the foster families that do so much in the community for the kids of tomorrow.”
Mr Boyack said the CAFS Ballarat foster care program is always on the lookout for more foster families, with more details on the http://www.cafs.org.au/programs-and-services/foster-care website.