Wondai Regional Art Gallery's Elaine Madill celebrates Christmas by gifting presents to kids across the South Burnett. Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times
Wondai Regional Art Gallery's Elaine Madill celebrates Christmas by gifting presents to kids across the South Burnett. Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times Kate Darvall

Elaine collects Christmas joy all year round for our kids

ELAINE Madill has just one grandchild, but it hasn't stopped her from filling up her spare room with children's Christmas presents.

With Graham House, the Wondai Regional Art Gallery volunteer will gift presents to children across the South Burnett who might not otherwise experience the joy of Christmas.

Graham House Community Centre's Christmas Tree Appeal will aim to reach about 60 children.

"I know in the past I've wanted to do something to help out, but I just didn't know how," Elaine said.

"But I think this is just perfect. It isn't much but it's something."

Although she had a grandchild, she said he was 21 so she couldn't buy him children's gifts.

She said the Christmas Tree Appeal filled that gap.

"I just love buying children's presents," she said. "It's such a pleasure, I get far more out of giving than receiving."

Elaine said this year would be her fourth year contributing to the appeal.

"I start at the sales in January, it's a little bit of a thing for me now," she said.

"My third bedroom gets filled up every year quite early." 

Wondai Regional Art Gallery's Elaine Madill celebrates Christmas by gifting presents to kids across the South Burnett. Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times
Wondai Regional Art Gallery's Elaine Madill celebrates Christmas by gifting presents to kids across the South Burnett. Photo Kate Darvall/ South Burnett Times Kate Darvall

Murgon Graham House Community Centre manager Linda O'Hare said people like Elaine were the backbone of the Christmas Tree Appeal.

"The bulk of these families are not very well off, they're doing it pretty hard," she said.

"The parents are panicking they've got absolutely nothing to give their kids.

"The little bit they get from us, that's all they've got."

She said every child deserved to open a present on Christmas Day, and the Graham House wanted to facilitate that.

"How sad for those children to go back to school or to see their neighbours with their presents when they have nothing," she said.

Ms O'Hare said people often misunderstood families in need, but the families the centre supported were not "people sitting back expecting things to come to them".

"These are families who may have an illness in the family, or the dad may have had an accident and just isn't able to work anymore," she said. "They're not dole bludgers."

She said anyone could help.

"It doesn't have to be an expensive gift," she said.

The Christmas Tree Appeal will collect presents from points across the South Burnett on December 11.

Collection points can be found at Wondai's House Table Home, Visual Image Hair and Beauty, Regional Art Gallery, Murgon's Raj's café and St Joseph's School.

For more information, phone Graham House on 4168 2828.

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