2 January 2024

Community comes up with the goods for Christmas

| Cape York Weekly
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Clayton and Heidi Baker from Baker Building Certification were among the many who donated gifts.

Heartbroken at the devastation around her, Cooktown mother of five Joan Hornett decided to bring a little cheer to the district, and her idea of a Christmas present donation has grown to massive proportions.

Within hours of her suggestion in a local Facebook group for donated gifts to help ease the loss for children and families who lost everything during the flooding, the idea had taken off.

“With it being so close to Christmas the thought that a child might go without an actual gift and not just a hand me down was just heartbreaking being a mum of five myself,” Joan told Cape York Weekly.

“I wasn’t thinking of all the extra logistics that came with the idea but thanks to Nardia (from Cooktown Kindergarten) and her organisation and brilliant ideas we have so far been able to purchase and collect a large amount of gift donations.”

People from far and wide donated gifts, including Ms Hornett’s sister in Charleville, and many businesses also donated money and gifts.

“So far I have been able to purchase over $1000 worth of gifts to start wrapping to give these special little ones a Christmas that they deserve,” Joan said.

Cooktown Kindergarten director Nardia Whitman was on board as soon as she heard the idea.

Cooktown, Cairns and beyond have opened their wallets and hearts, donating hundreds of presents to displaced children from the region.

“It’s been astronomical; the businesses have been so generous and people are just going out and buying things – people in Cairns are sending stuff up,” she said.

“No one will have nothing for Christmas. It’s been really good.”

Gifts are being collected at the Cooktown Kindergarten, with donations asked to be wrapped and labelled with boy or girl and the age the gift is suitable for.

“Councillor John Dessmann and I will take the gifts up to the PCYC, and a Christmas tree, with our Christmas hats on,” Joan said with a smile.

You can contact Nardia Whitman on Facebook for more information or to drop off gifts outside of business hours.

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