Annual North Melbourne Victoria Police Christmas toy and food drive returns
By Jemma van Zaanen
The annual North Melbourne Christmas toy and food drive has returned for its 20th year supporting local families who are doing it tough over the holiday period.
North Melbourne Police Station and the Melbourne North Police Community Consultative Committee have joined forces to collect the goods for children and families who need them most.
The community can donate non-perishable food and new toys only (due to hygiene reasons) to North Melbourne Police Station which will then be donated to two charities leading up to Christmas.
Toys and food will be donated to The Venny Communal Backyard and Support Service in Kensington, a “free communal and safe space for children aged five to 16”, which focuses on allowing children to engage in play and creativity.
Goods will also be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Parkville – a “home-away-from home” for children and their family receiving treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne.
Local police will be spreading the holiday joy by decking out their police cars and motorcycles in festive colours and lights, bringing an interactive display for the children at the Ronald McDonald House on December 17. Leading Senior Constable Nick Parissis told North West City News the drive was a great way to contribute positively to two great causes supporting the local community.
“It’s great being able to talk to the kids and their parents and hear their stories. It’s also a good way for the police to give back to the community,” Mr Parissis said.
He said the Ronald McDonald House had also organised a classic car club for the children, so they would be treated to a variety of old-style cars; a new and “different” feature of this year’s food and toy drive.
“We will attend the House in December and take the police cars for the kids to have a look at. It’s also good for the police members’ mental health to interact with the families in a positive way,” he said.
Community members are encouraged to donate to help local children and families over the festive period until December 13.
North Melbourne Police Station is located at 36 Wreckyn St, North Melbourne. For enquiries about the Christmas food and toy drive, contact Leading Snr Cnst Nick Parissis on 03 8379 0800. •