It was December 2013, and ACT Policing’s Detective Sergeant John Giles had just come across a horrifying scene.
Detective Sergeant Giles and his team attended an incident and found four small children who had been neglected, including an infant who was only a few weeks old.
“These children had the clothes on their backs and very little else. One of the children, a little girl who was around 4 years old, offered to show me her Christmas tree, which she said was beautiful,” Detective Sergeant Giles said.
“She took me by the hand and led me into the house to their tree, which was little more than a couple of tattered branches with a bauble or two attached.
“I was mortified by what I saw, and I knew I had to do something.”
That something was Kids in Care, an annual charity that gives every child in ACT crisis and emergency care over the holiday period a gift on Christmas Day. 2018 has seen its biggest response yet, with thousands of gifts set to brighten up the Christmas of kids across the ACT.
After delivering presents to around 200 children last year, Detective Sergeant Giles reflected on the ongoing community response.
“We’ve been blown away by the generosity of the Canberra community this year. I’m confident this is the biggest response Kids in Care has ever seen, and I can’t thank people enough,” he said.
“Christmas is a time for family and celebration, but it’s also a time to think about those who are less fortunate in the community, and to reach out to others. Thanks to the Canberra community, Christmas for these children will be brighter this year.
“I’d like to pass on my sincere thanks to the Australian Federal Police, Icon Water, Rotary, Westfield, Bunnings, CYPS, ACTEWAGL Shop Fyshwick, Vikings Bowls Club, National Mailing and Marketing, Projects Assured and Matt Lane and Big W for supporting this year’s efforts.
“I’d also like to thank everyone who supported the Westfield Giving Tree and the December Saturday Gift Wrapping Station.
“Each and every donation is appreciated and has contributed to our fantastic response.”