Canberra Cares – Disaster Toy Appeal

Like all Australian’s,  Brian Morris and I were saddened by the loss and devastation that our friends in other states were withstanding in the recent floods. Instead of just feeling overwhelmed by what was happening around the country we decided to launch a Lost Toy Appeal on behalf of the Canberra Community.
The appeal was officially launched on 21 Jan 2011 which is focusing on the children who were involved in the recent floods but now involves those in Cyclone Yasi.  We have had an overwhelming response to the appeal and our warehouse ‘Toytopia’ is now overflowing with toys and beautiful volunteers who are sorting and packing toys.
We have organisations, schools and private businesses conducting internal workplace appeals and we are being delivered thousands of toys most days. This appeal is all based on donation, and everything that has happened and is happening has been donated by local business people.

Our plan is to depart Canberra on the 19 March 2011 via a convoy of trucks, sending them to destinations all over the country – Toowoomba being our Queensland destination. I feel it is a central point where the toys can be collected or distributed from.

I am hoping that the Red Cross and SES would be able to assist with the distribution of the toys. I have contacted both organisations and I am yet to hear back from them. At present we have approximately 30,000 toys packed to go. I have contacted the Chronicle and asked for them to run a story and have been in contact with the local Mayor’s office.

Our appeal has been an amazing experience and you may think why not just give money. Our thoughts have been repeatedly confirmed, not everyone can give money, nor does everyone want to give money. When mum and dad get the money, toys for the children are not a priority. All the children know is that their toys are all gone.

The appeal has a very simple goal and that is to bring as many smiles to young people’s faces as we can. We want you to know we have not forgotten.

If you are able to assist with getting the toys to the children, it would be greatly appreciated. We would require a storage location to take the toys to, but then it would be up to the people how they would like to distribute them. Perhaps an open day that is lots of fun for all involved or couriers could take them out to the families. We need to get the word out that we are still thinking of you and in some small way we can bring a little relief.

Our website is

I have emailed the Premier’s Office in each state to let them know about us, and our own Chief Minister has been very supportive.

I wish you all a very speedy recovery and our thoughts are with you all.

Tanya Squires
Project Coordinator
Canberra Cares – Lost Toy Appeal

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