MacKillop Family Services
Santa ditched his reindeer in favour of completing a very special delivery in Victoria’s first locally built, fully electric bus with the Minister for Public Transport, Melissa Horne.
Santa called on the Minister and Transdev to help him collect and deliver donated Christmas gifts for kids in foster care and residential care, as part of MacKillop Family Services Annual Christmas Drive.
Picture from Left: Ros Spence, State Member of Parliament for Yuroke; The Victorian Minister for Public Transport, The Hon. Melissa Horne MP; Santa; Sam Patterson, Community Engagement Director MacKillop Family Services; Jorden Fonua Yr 9; Jordan Castle Year 11; Chantelle Sadiq Yr 9; Dane Calleja, Deputy Principal of Kolbe Catholic College; Danio Khoshaba, Yr 11; Ernest Sagalongos Yr 9; Dilen Grady Hietti Kankanamge Yr 9
As part of the drive, Transdev’s elves collect and pack gifts generously donated by local schools and businesses to ensure kids in care can have a present to open on Christmas Day.
MacKillop’s Director of Community Engagement, Sam Patterson said that Christmas can be a difficult time of year for kids in care, who are often unable to spend the festive season with their birth family. “Celebrating traditions helps create a tremendous sense of belonging.
“Thanks to the generous support of local schools and businesses such as Transdev, we can ensure every child in care will have a present under the Christmas tree this year,” said Mr Patterson.
In previous years, MacKillop had struggled to collect gifts and asked Transdev if they could help this year. “We are very grateful for Transdev’s support – in the past we’ve had our staff drive around collecting presents.
“It’s time consuming and takes staff away from doing what they do best - supporting vulnerable kids and families,” said Mr Patterson.
Transdev’s Chief Officer, Bus Operations Ian Craig said he was delighted that Transdev could support such a worthwhile cause. “We believe in giving back to the communities in which we operate, and what better way of doing that than ensuring vulnerable Victorian kids, get the special Christmas they deserve.
“Our business is all about people moving people, so it is really not much of a stretch to help Santa move some presents for kids in need,” said Mr Craig.
Transdev also donated over $1,000 worth of toys and conducted a donation drive amongst its staff. Kids come into care at all ages, from babies to seventeen-year-olds, across all cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. All kids have experienced some form of abuse, neglect or trauma.
To find out more about how you can support MacKillop to bring Christmas cheer to kids in care visit: www.mackillop.org.au/get-involved/donate