Anglicare is celebrating 30 years of spreading the joy of Christmas throughout the Illawarra through the Lord Mayor’s Giving Tree and Bikers’ Toy Run.
The Bikers’ Toy Run was founded in 1989. Ivan Zgela, who was one of the founding members of the Toy Run, passed away earlier this year. Over the last 30 years he encouraged and supported bikers and motorcycle clubs to participate in the Bikers’ Toy Run.
“We’d like to honour Ivan’s significant contribution to the Bikers’ Toy Run and the way it impacted the lives of so many across the Illawarra region,” says Debbie Magyar, Anglicare’s Food and Financial Assistance Program Manager for the Southern Region.
“Christmas is a difficult time for many people across the region. Budgets that are already tight are pushed to breaking point, and many families cannot afford to buy gifts for their children.”
On December 7, hundreds of motorcycle riders will ride from Shellharbour into Central Wollongong where they will deliver sacks of presents to the Lord Mayor’s Giving Tree to join the many gifts already donated by community members. Anglicare, along with other charities, collects the presents and distributes them to families in need.
“The Bikers’ Toy Run is a fantastic initiative. Mr Zgela’s vision of bringing gifts to those in need at Christmas has really become a fixture in the community and means that many children now have something to open on Christmas morning.”
“Plus, the spectacle of hundreds of motorcycles flooding into Central Wollongong is always a happy event for locals to watch,” says Ms Magyar.
Anglicare will distribute the gifts to families in need throughout the Illawarra in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
“We pray that these gifts bring the joy of Christmas to many families,” says Ms Magyar.
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