Give a Gift

November 23rd, 2017
Give a Gift
Christmas is the happiest time of the year for most families, however for those less fortunate it can be a time filled with anxiety over being able to provide gifts for their children on top of everything else.

To make it a little bit easier for these families, the Adelaide Hills Library Service is taking part in the ‘Give the Gift of Reading’ initiative in conjunction with The Smith Family.

“We’ve taken part in the Gift of Reading for the past five years or so, alongside a number of public libraries in the state,” Programs Team Leader at the Adelaide Hills Community Library Service Jo Kaeding said.

“It’s all about giving everyone the opportunity to enjoy reading. We also find it’s something our community appreciates being involved in.”

The Gift of Reading appeal encourages people to buy and donate a book suitable for children up to 12 years of age.

“We want every child to have the opportunity to enjoy reading and a book is a gift a child can utilise throughout the year,” Jo said.

“There’s something special about being able to own your own book.

“Giving the gift of a book also supports the development of literacy for children which is what the library is all about.”

Usually the Adelaide Hills Library Service collects about 200 books, however this year they started early and are hoping to reach 300 donations.

Aside from falling into the category of age appropriate and being new, there are no rules dictating what sort of books can be donated.

“Fiction or non-fiction – it doesn’t matter,” Jo said.

“When you come to donate your book at the library there’s a gift tag tree with different tags to indicate the age and gender the book is most appropriate for.”

The books, which need to be left unwrapped, are then collected by library staff ready to be delivered to The Smith Family for distribution to families in need this Christmas.

“These families may be displaced or not have a regular home environment and therefore have no books available to them,” Jo said.

“This appeal indicates to those families that there are people conscious, concerned and thinking about everyone in the community at this time of year.

“It also gives a child and their parent a time to bond and read together.

“If you can’t afford to buy gifts for your family, to still be able to give gifts is amazing as it would be very hard as a parent.”

For people in the position to be able to donate to the appeal, there’s also a reward in the feel-good satisfaction of doing something selfless this Christmas holidays.

“Like anything you donate – be it time, gifts or money – knowing that you’re doing something that someone will appreciate is a good feeling and a positive thing to do,” Jo said.

“Donating also allows parents to help their children realise that not everyone is in their position and that we have an obligation to help out.

“Often people don’t now how they can help but this is a clear and practical way to do so this Christmas.”

Bernadette Vogelsang has already donated several books to the collection this year.

“You do it beacuse that’s what Christmas is all about,” Bernadette said.

“I think The Smith Family is a great charity and I also want to teach my 18 month old daughter that not everyone gets stuff for Christmas so it’s important to be grateful.

“Christmas is more about giving than it is receiving.”

The Christmas collections focus on gifting books is also something Bernadette is very supportive of .
“Reading is so important - you’d get nowhere without literature, you need it to get places in life,” she said.

“To encourage reading at such a young age will set children up for life.”

Urging people to donate, Bernadette points out that it doesn’t cost much to do this particular good Christmas deed.

“Go to Kmart or Target, the books are $4 and taking that much out of your own life isn’t much to make a child’s life happy.”

At such a busy time of year our focus is often on our own family and friends, however it’s important to think outside of that and consider others less fortunate.

“It comes down to awareness that this is a family time of year and often it can be felt more keenly by parents unable to provide a Christmas they’d like to give their children,” Jo said.

The Adelaide Hills Library Service’s Give the Gift of Reading book collection will be accepting donations up until Sunday, December 10 at the Stirling, Gumeracha and Woodside libraries, as well as the mobile library.

Back  Back

The Weekender Herald

The Weekender Herald aims to provide the best print medium for our clients to achieve the maximum exposure for their messages to our readers and their potential clients within our targeted area.

The Weekender Herald is an independent, innovative, good-news paper serving the Adelaide Hills and Mt Barker council areas. Founded in 1992, the paper is the leader in providing up-to-date, relevant lifestyle content. It seeks to maximise its appeal and relevance to readers and consumers on behalf of its advertisters.