Santa's little helpers prepare for Christmas

ONE by one students at Eaglehawk Primary School unpacked boxes of Christmas presents for local families in need.

The Smith Family, a children’s charity, enlisted the help of student volunteers at Eaglehawk to help unload a van full of gifts.

As part of the annual Toy and Book Appeal, disadvantaged Greater Bendigo families will receive gifts.

The Smith Family Victoria general manager Anton Leschen said Christmas was a special time for families, however some children would go without a gift this holiday season because their families cannot afford it.  

“The Smith Family’s Toy and Book Appeal is an opportunity to help bring a smile to a disadvantaged child’s face this Christmas,” he said.

Mr Leschen said children were missing out on school books, uniforms and shoes because of the expense.

“There are large gaps in educational performance between kids in disadvantaged Australian communities and their more privileged peers,” he said.

“With the public’s support of our 2013 Christmas appeal we can help to change that.”

This year the Smith Family hopes to distribute 12,500 toy and book packs to more than 5500 families across the country.

The organisation is also hoping to raise more than a $1 million. 

The money raised will go towards providing learning support and mentoring programs to disadvantaged children and young people. 

"Children from disadvantaged families are less likely to have access to the resources they need to do well at school," Mr Leschen said. 

"From books and a quiet place to study, to parents who can help with their homework. 

“Our learning clubs give children a supportive after-school learning environment where they can get the resources they need."

Mr Leschen urged the community to dig deep this Christmas and donate.

For more information or to donate call 1800 024 069 or by visiting www.thesmithfamily.com.au

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