Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year and for many Australians it is. It’s a time to reconnect and see family and friends; to spoil with presents those whom we love and cherish the most. It’s the one time of the year when we are asked to think not of ourselves but of those around us, a time of giving. And while most of us can’t wait for Christmas to come around, for a large number of Australians it can be a lonely and stressful time of year.
For all the joy and excitement that comes with Christmas there is also a great deal of expectation and pressure, and sadly, for thousands of Australian children, there will be no presents to open this holiday season, no gifts from Santa on Christmas day, simply due to the fact that their families cannot afford it.
Thankfully there are charities like The Smith Family that devote themselves wholeheartedly to supporting disadvantaged families, and since their founding in 1922, when five businessmen delivered toys to orphans on Christmas Eve, The Smith Family has had a long and proud association with Christmas. It’s the time of the year when they turn their attention from providing long-term educational support for children in need and focus on making sure they can take part in one of Christmas’ simplest joys: opening a present on Christmas Day.
Year round The Smith Family provides 34,000 young Australians with the extra support and resources they need to make the most of each school day. Yet they know that supporting a child’s education is about more than just what happens in the classroom – it’s also about enabling positive experiences in the home and community which allow young people to feel included – which is why they continue to distribute toys and books at Christmas time.
This year, David Jones is overjoyed to help our charity partner make Christmas a little less daunting and a lot more manageable for those families that need it most. And especially so that all children no matter their circumstances, can share in this special time of the year. So throughout the months of November and December we will have some great initiatives in-store that will help bring a smile to these children’s faces. Here’s what’s going on and how you can help:
A VIP event for some very special VIP kids: Unveiling the Christmas Windows and meeting Santa
For so many, coming to David Jones and seeing the wonder that is the Christmas Windows is a well-established tradition. Unfortunately though, not every child gets this opportunity. This Christmas David Jones has invited Year 1 and 2 students from Willmot Public School – one of The Smith Family’s partner schools – to take part in the unveiling of the Christmas Windows and explore our Elizabeth Street Magic Cave where they will meet Santa and receive a few presents along the way. There will also be a choir of 12 Year 7 students from Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus who will be performing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Deck the Halls’. These students are participants of CONverge, a music program run by The Smith Family. This special event will be hosted by David Jones Ambassador Jesinta Campbell.
This event will take place at our Elizabeth and Market Street stores in the Sydney CBD on Thursday 3 November, 3:00pm. To find out about all events taking place in-store for Christmas click here.
The Smith Family Toy & Book Appeal
This year, with your help, The Smith Family will deliver 45,000 new toys and 30,000 new books to children in need around Australia, through their annual Toy & Book Appeal. David Jones will support the appeal by giving customers the opportunity to purchase a toy or book in-store which will then be put aside and donated to The Smith Family in December. The curated edit will feature gifts and books appropriate for 9-12 year olds (the age group which The Smith Family has the most need for donations in). After being sorted to age and gender appropriate packs, they’ll be distributed to children on The Smith Family’s educational support program, Learning for Life. Look out for The Smith Family Toy & Book Tower located at the counter at every toy department in-store or purchase online here.
The Toy & Book Appeal is available at all stores nationally, excluding Barangaroo and Wellington, NZ. The initiative will run from 3rd – 30th November. To find out more about The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program click here.
Shine Bright – The David Jones Christmas Book
Shine Bright was written exclusively for David Jones by Tai Smith, in collaboration with Emily Zoey Baker and illustrated by Jessie Willow Tucker. This heartwarming Aussie Christmas story follows the story of Stella, a sugar glider that changed Christmas in Australia forever.
From 3rd November – 24th December David Jones will donate $3 to The Smith Family for each book purchased.
The David Jones Smith Family Gift Card
From 1st – 24th December David Jones will be offering customers an exclusive Smith Family branded gift card. This gift card will work like any other David Jones gift card, except with the added bonus that 10% of the gift card’s value will be donated to The Smith Family by David Jones. So if you load $100 on your gift card, we will donate $10 directly to The Smith Family!
The David Jones Smith Family Gift Card is available at all stores nationally.
If you want to help out this Christmas period but none of the above options suit, you’re always welcome to submit a cash donation at any counter in-store.
It’s only Christmas when we share it, especially with those that need it most. Your support this holiday season through any of the above initiatives will ensure that all Australian families can come together at Christmas to share gifts and celebrate.