Helping Hand at the Baptcare Children’s Christmas Party
AE Smith’s Melbourne Service team was the gold sponsor of the annual Baptcare Children’s Christmas party in December, where more than 300 children with a disability or in foster care and their families were brought together by the charity at Moonee Valley Racecourse for a day of fun and games
Now in its fifth year, this popular community event provides activities such as a jumping castle, clown, magician, face painting, pony rides, balloons, food and live music to brighten up the day of hundreds of children – with a visit from Father Christmas a crowd favourite.
A long time AE Smith client, Baptcare is a not-for-profit organisation based in Victoria and Tasmania. The charity supports children in Melbourne’s North and West through foster care, disability care and a range of other family services.
Baptcare’s GM Family and Community Services, Marita Scott said the difference it makes to children and families living with disability or in foster care is obvious for all to see on the day: big smiles, laughter, running around and carefree fun.
She said many of the families cared for experience financial hardship and social isolation which is heightened over Christmas. To reduce this stress each year, with the help of the community, Baptcare provides a free Christmas party so that they can join in the festive season.
“For families struggling, a fun-filled day is a welcome distraction and thoroughly enjoyable,” she said. “We are very grateful for AE Smith’s support. Without support from sponsors and donations from the community, we simply couldn’t hold the Children’s Christmas party, and we’re really thankful to AE Smith and our other sponsors for being involved this year.”
Baptcare began in 1945 when a group of Baptist women joined together to raise £4000 in a time of war to open Australia’s first Baptist home for older people.
Today, the charity provides care to children, families, people with disability, older people, financially disadvantaged people and asylum seekers living lawfully in the community.
AE Smith’s General Manager, Melbourne Service, Peter McCarthy said his office’s involvement with the Christmas Party was a small but important part of their broader community focus, and something all of the staff really enjoyed being a part of.
“Some of our staff joined in with volunteers from associated schools and entertainers to bring real Christmas joy to the children and families,” Peter said.
“While they are also a long time client, we take great pride in being able to provide additional financial and in-kind support to Baptcare and our other community partners. It’s something that’s really important to us, and we look forward to continuing this partnership into future years.”