title-line  Making Kids Smile Program  title-line

Our Making Kids Smile Christmas Presents Program focuses on helping to address Social Deprivation



Our Making Kids Smile Program

For Christmas 2014 and 2015 we have our program has donated over 600 large and small toys to Uniting Burnside for distribution to families in need. All toys are new, and the latest – toys children will value and show their friends.


In 2014 we purchased over $4000 value of toys at discounted prices at commercial outlets. In 2015 we were able to increase the number of toys within the same budget by sourcing toys wholesale.


The program will continue for Christmas 2016 with the addition of donating gifts for older children to the Toukley Neighbourhood Centre Christmas program.


What is marginalization?

Christmas has been over-commercialized for a long time and the volume and cost of Christmas presents continues to be overwhelming. For many the cost of Christmas is a major budget hole for the family finances.


So many of the presents received at Christmas are of transient value and simply add to the household clutter. The value of Christmas presents is in the giving and the happiness of receiving; the presents themselves can often be disappointing. Can we remember all the presents we received for Christmas two years ago? Possibly most of us can remember a few.


The gift of a Christmas present is the gift that we are valued.

But two things change when you are a child and you are living in poverty. The first is that there is likely to be very few presents; nothing compared to the sackful of toys better off kids will get. Secondly, and most importantly, the toys are not going to be what everybody else is getting. When you’re poor you can’t afford the latest Lego® set or an impressive box of some Frozen® merchandize. And this contributes to MARGINALIZATION.


Children living in poverty have a large bundle of problems to cope with that fuel lack of self-worth pushing down self-esteem. For children birthdays and Christmas cruelly add to this burden as the well-off kids display their wondrous toys that the poor child can never have.


What is social deprivation?

Social Deprivation is the  ‘exclusion from the minimum acceptable way of life in a person’s own society because of a lack of resources. For example, a person may lack sufficient basic needs (e.g. food and clothing) or the capacity to afford basic leisure and social activities.


While it is closely related to poverty, it is possible to experience deprivation in one or more dimensions without necessarily being poor, just as it is possible to be income poor without being deprived’.

Extracted from the NSW Parliamentary Research Service e-brief 07/2014: Link 

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