Hands of Hope’s annual tradition of Christmas Fiesta (previously known as C4K) brings friends and family together to kick off the Christmas celebrations properly. These events have become a yearly tradition for many families in the community – with free food and drinks, and it’s impossible to stay away.
This year, we picked this up by running the Christmas Fiesta events in two locations – double the fun, covering more of Brisbane!
The first event ran at Unidus Community Centre in Willawong, where the event was run for almost a decade. Because this was the home base for the event, there was more opportunity to pack in the usual fun and games. There were many outdoor performances, a massive inflatable slide and heaps of carnival games. Tug of war may have gotten dangerously competitive, but petting the baby goats afterwards must have soothed a few losses a tad.
The second event ran the weekend after at the University of Queensland in St Lucia. In the beautiful Advanced Engineering Building, the events were held indoors. Despite the smaller location, the Christmas magic persisted. Esther Dai, who volunteered at both events, found that this worked well, creating a cosy environment for the families that attended. She said she “enjoyed seeing the community connect and have fun together – good vibes for both events!”
The Christmas Fiesta also held carolling after a big day of frolicking through the day’s event to ramp up the Christmas spirit. The program started with games, with families winning amazing prizes to kick off. Who knew frantically decorating your family like a Christmas Tree could get a bit ruthless? To fully wrap up the event, this was followed by a lot of carolling where kids and families sang along.
Having both events in different suburbs across Brisbane allowed different communities to celebrate Christmas in a more accessible way. The different locations made them unique in carrying on traditions, regardless of where families lived.
Now that Christmas 2022 is over… guess it’s time to count down to Christmas 2023 – have a happy New Year!
Written by Beatriz Polotan
Christmas 4 Kids is Hands of Hope annual flagship community event. Formerly known as Santa’s Gift Factory, Christmas 4 Kids started in 1998 in a school in Mt. Gravatt, then moved to Inala in 2003. Now, this event is held annually on the first Saturday of December at Unidus Community Centre in Willawong, with the intention to bring Christmas joy and cheer to the local communities.
This year, it was held on Saturday, 1st December, from 10am to 2pm. Despite the high heat, we saw 289 adults and 432 children from the local communities attended the event. All children were well entertained with a wide variety of activities for every age, including rock climbing, jumping castle, tug of war and range of “old favourites” such as tic-tac-toe, throw the cans, face painting, and art & crafts. Click here to watch the video highlight of the event.
Everyone was treated with free sausage sizzles and well-decorated Christmas desserts, which were donated by members of Hope Church Brisbane. In addition to that, every child went home that day with a Christmas present each that was given out by Hands of Hope.
There were many highlights throughout the event. Anglicare and Inala Youth Service joined us on that day to provide engaging crafts activities, as well as service information to the parents. One other highlight was when The Queensland Fire and Emergency service showed up with their fire truck and made it “rain” over the fields of Unidus Community Centre. It was such a relief from the heat. The children (and the adults) absolutely loved it. They had a great time exploring the interiors of the vehicle and taking photos with them too.
This event is supported by Hope Church, Brisbane City Council Festival Funding Program and the Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund. Our guests of honour of this year included Cr. Angela Owen, (Representative of Lord Mayor & Councillor of Calamvale), Cr. Steve Griffiths (Councillor of Moorooka), MP Graham Perrett and MP Milton Dick.
We want to thank our sponsor – Wolff Coffee Roasters who provided free coffee during the event and members of Hope Church Brisbane for the generous donations of toys, bicycles and baked goods. Last but definitely not least, a massive shout out to all 150 volunteers who braved the heat and brought joy and smiles on the faces of everyone who came for the event. We are immensely grateful, we really could not have made the event a success without all of your generous contributions and giving of your time and energy.
All in all, it was a fun-filled and love-filled day. We definitely cannot wait for Christmas 4 Kids 2019! We do not want you to miss out on this great opportunity in making an impact on the lives of the young ones. Join us as a volunteer to bring a smile and the Christmas spirit to the lives of many. Do visit our website www.handsofhope.org.au for more updates on Christmas 4 Kids 2019.
2017 marks the 19th year running of Hands of Hope’s flagship event – Christmas 4 Kids. This community event was held in the at Unidus Community Centre, on Saturday, 2nd December 2017 from 10am to 2pm, and welcomed all visitors with free entry.
Despite rain forecasts previously, the weather held up wonderfully for the event, with sunny skies overhead as the guests arrived at the Unidus Community Centre. This year, we recorded more than 600 residents of local suburbs, consisting of around 200 adults and 400 children, in attendance for Christmas 4 Kids 2017.
As an opening act to the event, Toli Mahina from Mamana Academy of Tongan Arts and Culture presented a beautiful song performance, followed by a unique Tongan dance, performed with 20 other Tongan youths. Next, the children were led in a fun dance-along session by the Groundbreakaz. The stage programs ended with a duet song performance by Tim Ngugi and Deborah Lim from Hope Church Ablaze.
With more than 21 stalls at the event, the children were spoiled for choice to participate in games and activities such as the jumping castle, rock climbing, face painting, bop-along buddies, balloon twisting, tug of war and fishing game, to name a few. Every child was given a Christmas present sponsored by Hands of Hope. Parents and adults were invited to relax with complimentary coffee kindly sponsored by Wolff Coffee Roasters.
Everyone was treated to a free sausage sizzle over lunch, as well as a selection of desserts and sweet treats to top off the feed. Hands of Hope would like to acknowledge the following wonderful sponsors who generously donated food items and beverages for Christmas 4 Kids 2017 – Teys Services, BidFood, Coca-cola, Frucor, CTC Catering & Café and various Hope Church members.
The guests of honour this year included the Councillor of Calamvale Ward, Cr Angela Owen, and Councillor of Forest Lake, Cr Charles Strunk. In addition, Anglicare, Inala Youth Service, Queensland Ambulance & First Aids and Queensland Police Service also participated on that day to provide interactive activities and service information to the local communities. Hands of Hope would like to thank all the local councilors and community agencies for their ongoing support towards Christmas 4 Kids.
Last but not least, Hands of Hope would like to appreciate the 207 volunteers that helped both on the day and with the preparations prior the event. We can’t thank you enough for all your amazing works and time you invested to make this event possible!
Christmas 4 Kids has been running annually in order to generously bless children and families in the south-western suburbs of Brisbane and bring the Christmas cheer. You can be part of this by volunteering for the event on 1st Dec 2018. We hope and look forward seeing you next year.
Unidus Community Centre was once again filled with joyous Christmas cheer and family fun at our annual Christmas 4 Kids event on Saturday, 3 December 2016. This event has been running annually for over a decade and its purpose remains the same – to generously bless children and families in the south-western suburbs of Brisbane and bring the Christmas cheer.
This year, the Christmas 4 Kids event was extended to 4 hours, happening from 10am to 2pm. A total of 566 residents of local suburbs, consisting of 235 adults and 331 children, attended the event. Every child who came was given a free Christmas present.
With the theme ‘A Royal Christmas’, children were invited to dress up in their best royalty outfits and the best-dressed children were crowned. The winner and runner-up received movie tickets among other prizes. Over the 4 hours, children had a variety of 23 activities to enjoy including favourites like jumping castle, laser tag, face painting, bop-along buddies, balloon twists, tug of war and fishing game. In between, there were dance performances and dance-alongs by the Groundbreakaz and a few hamper giveaways.
Anglicare joined us at this free community event to mingle with the attendees and provide information about their services. Queensland Police Services were also present with a marked police vehicle, in which both children and adults had great fun exploring.
Our guests of honour at this year’s Christmas 4 Kids included the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, the Federal Member of Oxley, Milton Dick MP and the Councillor of Calamvale Ward, Cr Angela Owen.
We thank the 188 volunteers who came as early as 6am on the day to assist in various areas such as logistics, food and beverage and kids activities. We also thank the members of the church for donating a whooping total of 2123 portions of cupcakes, muffins, cookies, sandwiches and assorted treats! We are also grateful to Cornerstone Church and the Ipswich Hospital Foundation for lending us over 10 marquees to provide shade on the day.
Running from 10am through to 1pm on Saturday, 5 December 2015, Hands of Hope pulled off its thirteenth year of Christmas 4 Kids. It was held at Unidus Communtiy Centre, Willawong, which provided a great outdoor space for young children and families.
Christmas 4 Kids first began in 2003 as an annual Christmas community event of Hands of Hope with the aim of bringing Christmas cheer to the southwestern community of Brisbane. This year almost 300 children and 200 adults attended the event.
It was a day full of fun and games with over 25 activities for the children such as jumping castle, face painting, animal farm, laser tag, and many carnival games. A team of dancers in animal onesies made a guest appearance halfway through the event, which children, especially the younger ones, thoroughly enjoyed.
Everyone was treated to a free sausage sizzle over lunch, as well as snow cones and fairy floss that were available. The wide array of desserts and sweet treats to top off the feed were kindly donated by volunteers.
Agencies, which service the local areas around Willawong, namely Queensland Police Services, Inala Youth Service and Anglicare were present at the event. They came equipped with information on services they provide, information sheets and fun activities to engage the children.
Cr Angela Owen-Taylor, Councillor for Parkinson Ward and Cr Milton Dick, Councillor for Richlands Ward also joined us.
Every child went home that day with a Christmas present each that was given out by Hands of Hope. Families were also treated to a free photobooth on site where they could bring home photos as memories of the day.
We greatly appreciate the 217 volunteers that helped both on the day and with the preparations in making this event possible!
We also thank and acknowledge the funding we received for this event from the Brisbane City Council Festival Funding Program and the Lord Mayor Suburban Initiative Fund.
Christmas can be a difficult time of year for some. Hands of Hope and Hope Gold Coast endeavoured to make Christmas a little bit more special in the community this year.
Themed ‘Simply Christmas‘, Christmas 4 Kids (Gold Coast edition) was held on Saturday, 13 December 2014. Christmas 4 Kids is Hands of Hope’s flagship event that has been running for over 15 years in the south-western suburbs of Brisbane; this is the first year of it coming down to the Gold Coast!
It was a day filled with Christmas cheer as over 100 people attended and participated the event. Over 60 children and families gathered around the enchanting tents of face painting, jumping castle and children’s games. Several hampers stocked full of household goods, treats and groceries to help fill the cupboards of many families, given out through lucky draws, were thoroughly enjoyed as well.
We also welcomed the partnership of YWAM on the Gold Coast. They brought a vibrant team and Christmas music to add on to the fun and Christmas cheer. A scrumptious sausage sizzle, chocolate brownies, cupcakes and Christmas treaties galore filled the tummies of hungry children and parents during the course of the day.