THERE has been plenty of excitement among the extended Toohey family with their Christmas gift finally revealed at disability support provider Scope Ballarat.
Maree Toohey said learning about the joy the family's combined monetary donation could bring Scope clients meant so much more than trying to convince adults in the family to keep up their decades-long Kris Kringle present exchange tradition.
Their combined $1260 allowed the not-for-profit to purchase another computer that could be used for writing resumes and cover letters, or learning computer skills. Scope also bought a six-burner barbecue, big enough for two or three clients to practise their cooking together, and an electric drum for Scope band The Sugar Bells.
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Ms Toohey, whose son Brandon Toohey is a Scope client, said it was wonderful to see the family's Christmas gift making a difference.
"We've been doing Kris Kringle for about 40 years...Adults in the family were pulling out more each year. They kept saying they did not know what to buy each other," Ms Toohey said.
"We thought if we changed the money limit to $30 and you only bought a present if you drew one of the kids in the Kris Kringle it might work better.
"People tend to buy everything they need nowadays and this was a way we could help others."
People tend to buy everything they need nowadays and this was a way we could help others.Maree Toohey
The Tooheys' modified Kris Kringle started three years ago and the uptake is about 40 adults with 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the mix across what is now three generations.
Their first combined efforts went to cystic fibrosis support while last year the donation bought Scope a touch screen all-in-one computer.
Scope program leader Claire Hanrahan said the Toohey family and their support was amazing. Ms Hanrahan said it made such an incredible difference for clients, boosting confidence and opportunities.
"They are a large family but they are also so supportive of any fundraiser we do," Ms Hanrahan said. "This is awesome."
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