Hundreds of children around the Hunter region are facing a Christmas with no presents under the tree.
Cessnock man Callum Orchard is hoping to make a difference to at least a few of these kids’ lives.
Mr Orchard has started a campaign to collect gift vouchers that will be used to buy presents for the Samaritans to pass onto kids in need this Christmas, and toys or games for the youth refuge.
He is asking people to either donate a $20 gift card and a Christmas card with a paragraph of encouragement for the child who will receive it, or make a donation online that will be used to buy a gift card.
“The Samaritans do a massive Christmas day and it’s hard to help all of them, but I want to try help,” he said.
“I’m doing it to give the kids a present that they weren’t going to get, and so they don’t feel alone.”
After organising a fundraiser for the Black Dog Institute at Kearsley Hotel in November (which raised $22,000 for men’s mental health), Mr Orchard launched straight into his next project.
He has also founded a new Facebook men’s group – The Kennel and Charity Room – and is planning another event for the Black Dog Institute at Pokolbin in March.
Mr Orchard said while raising money is good, awareness is the main goal.
“It’s about putting eyes on situations people don’t realise are happening,” he said.
The donations will be handed over to the Samaritans outside Honeysuckle Hotel on December 17 at 10am.
Cards can be dropped off at Kearsley Hotel or donations can be made online at www.gofundme.com/christmas-vouchers-for-kids.