FREQUENTLY 

 ASKED QUESTIONS 

We know that the Toy & Book Appeal can come with a whole lot of questions, so if you can't find the answer you're looking for below please don't hesitate to contact us for more information.

Volunteering

What volunteering opportunities does The Smith Family offer at Christmas?

Available activities, with descriptions of what is involved, are listed below. Please note tasks may vary on the day, depending on what is required and on changes in project logistics.

Activity

Description

 

Workshop Elf

Set up and pack down of the site and/or sorting and packing toys in a warehouse environment. There is some manual handling involved in this role, and volunteers should be able to lift 10kgs and be on their feet for extended periods.

Delivery Day Assistant

This activity may include venue setup and pack down, packing vehicles, briefing drivers, traffic control, assisting with catering, and processing returns. Warehouse environment.

Delivery Day Driver

Delivery of Toy and Book Packs to families – requires a vehicle and two adults over the age of 18.

Family Collection Days

Assisting the process of families collecting Toy and Book Packs.

What is the place, time and date of my activity?

All details are provided in your confirmation email. Volunteers are asked to arrive 10 minutes before the activity start times provided in your confirmation email. Please be sure to check your junk folder if you cannot find this information. 

Are there any age restrictions?

Due to the warehouse environment and the use of machinery, there will be no admittance of under 18’s for Workshop Elfs, Family Pick up Assistants or Delivery Day Assistants. Children under 18 years of age are welcome to accompany their parents or guardians for Delivery Day Driver roles. 

Can additional volunteers turn up on the day?

For corporate partner groups, if any volunteer in your party cannot attend on their designated activity day, we ask that you please make arrangements for a replacement member of your staff to attend in their place. You can advise your Smith Family representative of changes up to 2 days prior to the activity day and notify us of these changes by emailing the details to xmasvolunteer@thesmithfamily.com.au

It is especially important that we capture volunteer attendance to ensure we are Covid-safe.

Volunteer non-attendance has a significant impact on our ability to deliver toys and books to families in time for Christmas.

Do I have to complete Child Protection Screening requirements?

The Smith Family is committed to and takes seriously our responsibility to providing safe environments for the children and young people participating in our programs and activities, or who are recipients of our services. This commitment is enacted through implementation of our Child Protection Framework, which all employees and volunteers must comply with. The Framework is published on our website and should be read by Christmas volunteers prior to their day of activity.

Any volunteer who may come into direct or indirect contact with children (or child related information) is required to sign a declaration, stating that they are not a prohibited person. A prohibited person is defined as any person “convicted of a serious sex offence”. Christmas volunteers must also immediately report to The Smith Family any concerns they have about a child or young person’s welfare, or any belief that a child is in danger from themselves or others.

What clothing is appropriate for this activity?

The environment and the tasks you will be working on can differ quite a lot from day to day. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing that you do not mind getting dirty. The temperature within the warehouse can often be hotter or colder than the outdoor weather conditions. With this in mind, volunteers may wish to bring a t-shirt, sun hat or jumper.
Corporate teams may choose to wear their own corporate t-shirts where these are available.

Please wear comfortable, closed-toe shoes such as trainers as this is in accordance with Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) standards. There will be no admittance for volunteers wearing thongs, high heels or open-toed shoes.

Delivery Day Drivers: Please wear neat, comfortable clothing. All drivers should wear closed-toe shoes.

Can volunteers take photos on the day? Will photos taken by The Smith Family be used?

On-site volunteers: you may wish to take photos during your activities. The Smith Family team members will be on hand to take photos of teams, which can be used in company newsletters and reports to promote your staff’s volunteering efforts.

Please ensure you ask everyone in the photo that they are comfortable to do so.

Delivery Day Drivers: photos of families to whom you are delivering gifts - or of their homes/property- are strictly not permitted to be taken at any time. Please respect the privacy of all recipients that you meet in the course of this activity.

Are refreshments provided?

Refreshments will be provided to on-site volunteers. Lunch is provided for full day activities only. We do have vegetarian options; however, if volunteers have any special dietary requirements, we recommend bringing your own refreshments and lunch (refrigerators are available on-site). Volunteers are asked to provide their own snacks if required.

While water is provided we recommend bringing your own reusable bottle to reduce plastic waste. 

I am a Delivery Day Driver, is there anything extra I should know?

  • Delivery Day Driver volunteers will need to provide their own vehicle on the day, with a boot/room enough to fit up to 7 large family gift packs.
  • All delivery drivers must provide a volunteer buddy to join them on their delivery rounds (both driver and buddy must be over the age of 18 years).
  • One volunteer is to drive while the other volunteer will take on the role of the navigator. This is to provide a layer of support and security for our volunteers as well as to uphold our duty of care commitment to our families.
  • A process is available for those Christmas packs that are undeliverable to a family home—please do not leave the pack unattended at the house
  • Photos of families to whom you are delivering gifts - or of their homes/property- are strictly not permitted to be taken at any time. Please respect the privacy of all recipients that you meet in the course of this activity

Please be mindful that disadvantage takes many forms and number of factors can contribute to financial challenges, many of which may not be obvious to those outside the family. A family’s financial situation is not merely about the house they live in or the car they drive. Sometimes parents and families are making great personal and often unseen sacrifices (some of which impact their child’s education) in order to provide for their children.

  • You are not permitted to enter the home of the family you are delivering.

Gift Collections

Where and when can I drop off my collected gifts?

We have drop off locations in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne, Adeliade, Hobart, Brisbane and Perth. Unfortunatley due to resourcing we are unable to pick up any donations from you. 

Specific drop off addresses and dates will be confirmed in late September. 

Is there anything I cannot donate?

It's important we provide families with appropratie gifts for Christmas. There are a number of items we can’t accept because they prove difficult to pack, or are not appropriate for a wide range of children. We are unable to accept the following:

Clothing, Food Products, Computer Games & Controllers, Calendars, No gifts that require batteries (unless you also provide the batteries required), Beauty Products, Toys shaped like Weapons, Breakable Items, Items of a Religious Naure, Secondhand or Damaged Goods, Organisational Branded Items.

You can download a poster from our resources page to display with your collection.

How does it work?

Donations of toys and books are made by generous supporters, like you, all over the country. In addition, we purchase toys and books using funds donated to the Toy & Book Appeal. Volunteers then sort, pack and deliver the gifts to disadvantaged families all over Australia, ready for Christmas morning. This year, with your help we aim to support 29,485 children in need at Christmas.
You can learn more by visiting our About Page. 

How do I get my gift/s to the Smith Family?

There are drop-off locations around the country where you can deliver your gift to. To find your closest venue and opening times, please refer to the list provided in your confirmation email, or you can find this information on our resources page.

Unfortunately, due to limited resources, we are unable to pick up your donated gifts.

If you cannot make it during the dates & times our facilities are open you might like to consider booking a courier.

Should my donations be wrapped or unwrapped?

Please donate all items unwrapped.

While it may seem helpful to wrap your gift, this often creates problems in the sorting and packing process. It also means that parents don’t get to see or wrap the gift for their child. Unwrapped gifts only, please.

Which children does Toy & Book support?

Our Christmas Toy and Book Packs support families on our Learning for Life program. These packs are offered for children aged 0-12 year olds. We encourage you to donate new toys, books and educational items for 0-12 year olds.

This year however, we have a shortage of gifts for children between the ages of 6 and 12 years. Gifts such as board games and activity-based toys are always well-received.

What do I do if I missed the cut off date to drop off my donations?

If you missed the cut off, send us an email, along with your state, and the quantity of items and we will see if we can accommodate them into storage to be packed into the following years packs, as all our closing dates are reflective of ensuring the packs reach children in time for Christmas.

Fundraising

How can I fundraise this Christmas?

It's easy, just register your fundraiser here and we'll get in contact asap. Whether you're looking for gold coin donations at your Chrismats Party, hosting a Christmas theme Trivia Night or even have a Kris Kringle we'd love to hear from you!

How do my supporters get a receipt for their donation?

Anyone that donates $2 or more to your page will instantly receive their tax receipt via email. If someone makes an offline donation we can send them their receipt once we are provided with their information.

Can The Smith Family do a social media post for my event?

We have so many projects happening through the year, it can be difficult to get a spot on our Social Media to promote smaller events. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee any assistance to help promote your event.

I've heard I need to look up legislation for my Raffle/Auction Event. Can The Smith Family advise me on what I can and cannot do?

We cant advise you on legal advice but we know the best place that you can get it from. For all raffle and auction legislations, please head to your local state authority website to get further information (a google search is always a great place to start, for example, you can try ' Fundraising Raffles in NSW').