Limestone Coast Toy Run to stream into Naracoorte

Toy Run: Baptist SA will be holding its annual Toy Run this year in late November, with the run helping out families in need throughout the Limestone Coast, providing them with gifts to give to their children on Christmas day.
Toy Run: Baptist SA will be holding its annual Toy Run this year in late November, with the run helping out families in need throughout the Limestone Coast, providing them with gifts to give to their children on Christmas day.

People from across the Limestone Coast are being encouraged to dip into their pockets and donate to a special cause involving a Toy Run to help local families doing it tough.

Baptist Care SA's Limestone Coast Toy Run has been accepting monetary donations over the last few months through their website in the lead up to the official event, taking place on November 28.

The donations will allow for the organisation to purchase toys and other items to provide to local families for their children on Christmas day.

The run will be supported by Roundwood Solutions, with donations being accepted through www.baptistcaresa.org.au/donate-now.

Donors are required to select the 'Limestone Coast Toy Run 2020' option on the website from the drop down menu if they wish to contribute.

In previous years, organisers have accepted toy donations in the lead up to the run, however, only monetary donations have been accepted this year due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions.

While donations are being received, organisers at Baptist SA are also accepting and processing requests from schools and other community organisations made by families within the region.

Families are required to fill in a request form outlining what kind of toy or item they wish to gift to their child, and families need to contact Baptist SA area manager John Merrett if they want to request an item through their local school or community group - families can contact Mr Merrett through his email address at jmerrett@baptistcaresa.org.au or on his mobile on 0438299732 - all gifts will be ordered and delivered by Baptist SA following the run.

The Limestone Coast Toy Run will involve two groups from Baptist SA leaving from two different locations to kick off the run.

One group will be leaving from the Millicent Skatepark at 8am to travel to Naracoorte, and the other group will be leaving from Mount Gambier at 8am for Naracoorte, with both groups meeting each other at 10am at the Naracoorte Soccer Club.

At 10am, both groups will leave for the run down to Mount Gambier, with the final phase of the run starting from the old Bunnings building at 12.30, the group working their way down to the railway lands for the 'Show and Shine' in the carpark at 1pm.

Mr Merrett spoke with the Herald this week about how people will be able to donate in person during the run, stressing that the organisation is actively encouraging as many people as possible to donate to the cause through the website before the event takes place.

"On the day, people will put in a cash donation through our donation bins - hopefully we get plenty of support," Mr Merrett said.

The manager also stressed that each of the donors will receive a tax receipt, allowing them to claim the donation on their tax.

"On average, last year each gift was approximately $30," Mr Merrett continued. "If you donate $30, you are going to donate at least one child a gift."

Baptist SA were able to donate 500 gifts to families last year, with hopes of meeting this goal this year if not going one better if they receive enough donations.

"We certainly encourage families to contact us directly or through one of their sports agencies and say 'hey, do you think that I can get something from the toy run,' Mr Merrett said.

"It is all about families who are doing it tough...it is really about taking pressure of families," he said. "I would just encourage schools agencies and families to actively participate in the process - it is the Limestone Coast Toy Run and we want to make sure that it covers all communities across the region - and give me a buzz. We are after support in the way of donations as well."

For more details, follow the Limestone Coast Toy Run on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/toyrun2020