More than 160 children and young people in care programs across the Latrobe Valley received a surprise with Berry Street’s Morwell staff delivering dozens of Christmas gifts donated by staff and customers from Bank Australia.
A rocking horse that wags its tail, a giant fluffy dog, sporting equipment, dolls, cars, trucks, games, books, perfume and treats were carefully sorted, selected and personally delivered by Berry Street staff to each young person.
Berry Street, Deputy Director Gippsland, Jane Barr said it was a highlight of the year for Berry Street staff.
“To see the joy on the young people's faces when they receive these gifts is priceless. Knowing that someone has remembered them and provided them with a gift means so much to the families and young people we support.”
Jane Barr said the personal connection Bank Australia staff had made with Berry Street and their enthusiasm to support Berry Street clients was beyond expectations.
“It’s the ninth year Bank Australia, formerly bankmecu, has run a gift giving program from its Morwell, Moe and Traralgon service centres to support our care programs and we are extremely grateful.”
Bank Australia’s Lisa Guatta said the program had struck a chord with staff and customers because they know their donation will go to a young person in the local area.
“As a community bank owned by its customers, it’s important to us to support local people and programs that provide real value to our local community. Our partnership with Berry Street has become personal to many of our staff who also initiated a fundraising drive to add to the gift collection.”
Jane Barr said on behalf of Berry Street she thanked all those people who donated gifts through Bank Australia.
“The gifts were delivered to young people in foster care and younger parents programs as well as Berry Street’s Kinship program which supports young people living with extended family members or adult friends.”
Berry Street is the largest independent child welfare organisation in Victoria and assists children and young people who have been impacted by family disruption, violence, neglect, abuse, trauma and poverty.
Berry Street’s Gippsland Services operates from 37 Elgin Street in Morwell and provides services to vulnerable children, young people and families.
For more information on Berry Street visit: www.berrystreet.org.au
Karyn O’Brien, Media Services 03 5622 1636 or 0417 103 162
Carly Wright, Bank Australia 03 9854 4850 or 0402 425 121
Berry Street Gippsland 03 5134 5971