Simply Christmas (Brisbane)

The wet and uncertain weather certainly did not dampen our spirits, as 185 volunteers gathered at Unidus Community Centre for Christmas 4 Kids on Saturday, 6th December 2014!

Christmas 4 Kids is an annual Christmas event organised by Hands of Hope, the community arm of Hope Church. Its main objective is to generously bless the local community in the south-western suburbs of Brisbane, especially where there is higher disadvantage and lower income.

This year, we saw close to 300 people from the local community attending Christmas 4 Kids, including over 160 kids. This year’s theme was Simply Christmas. Wanting to keep the true meaning of Christmas as the emphasis, we decided to go for a laid-back approach with Christmas 4 Kids this year. Kids and families were free to enjoy over 15 carnival games and live music throughout. The kids had so much fun at our giant games, face painting, balloon twisting, arts and craft, tug-of-war, animal bouncers, and a variety of carnival games like ring-around-the-bottle and toss-and-win. Mario and his team also showed up for a dance performance and dance-along.

The highlight of the event was a storytelling session and Christmas carols. Here, the story of Christmas, about the birth of the Saviour of the world, was told in a fun and light-hearted way, topped off with some sing-a-long carols.

Despite the cloudy weather, we got the sausage sizzle running and were ready to serve some hungry kids and families by lunch. For the second year running, we asked for sweet treats and desserts donation, and this year, thanks to the generosity of our donors, we collected over 800 pieces of sweet treats, enough for everyone to have more than one piece!

Halfway through the event, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services showed up in their fire truck and Queensland Police Services in their police car to support this local event, as well as promote their services and safety in a fun way. The kids (and adults!) absolutely loved them, and had a fun time exploring the interiors of these vehicles and taking a few photos with them.

We were also joined by local community groups such as Headspace, Anglicare, Inala Youth Service and Australian Care and Trauma Services, who were present to engage with the local community and inform people about the services they provided. They too were well received by the kids and adults present.

It was a fun and engaging day at Christmas 4 Kids, with lots of laughter, joy and smiles in spite of the weather. We definitely cannot wait for Christmas 4 Kids 2015!


Around the World

Christmas 4 Kids, themed “Around the World”, was held on 7 December 2013 at Unidus Community Centre.

It was attended by over 700 people. All the children were well entertained with a wide variety of activities for every age, including laser tag, jumping castle and range of ‘old favourites’ such as fishing games, shoot the cans, pin the llama, tic-tac-toe and memory games.

A highlight of Christmas 4 Kids was the musical, which portrayed the theme of true joy versus non-lasting joy, an apt theme for the Christmas season. Families were treated to food from various cultures in keeping with the “Around the World” theme, as a way to celebrate the multicultural society we live in.

Hampers that were generously donated by members of Hope Church Brisbane were prepared and given out to over 30 families to bless them during Christmas time. Our local politicians, such as Mr Anthony Shorten, Member for Algester, Cr Angela Owen-Taylor, Parkinson Ward and Cr Milton Dick, Richlands Ward all generously donated hampers too. Many of the hampers went to families who were doing it tough, so we were glad this simple gesture brought a spark to their Christmas!

All in all, it was a fun-filled, love-filled day, with an atmosphere of joy.