Leave the gift-wrapping to us

You’ve crossed the finish line of this year’s Christmas shop. Found just the right gifts for all the right people. Now comes the all-important step to ensure the presents you place beneath the tree are among the most anticipated: the wrapping.

We all know that a well-dressed parcel gets noticed and tells the receiver you have taken care in your choice of gift – and sometimes a bit of outside expertise goes a long way. This is why it’s wonderful news our charity gift-wrapping station will reopen on 3 December and remain open until 5pm on Christmas Eve, once again raising vital funds for the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Sunshine Hospital.

As well as being able to offload your mountain of gifts on to someone who knows their way around rotary cutters and fancy ribbon, you’ll be supporting the families of sick children at one of the most trying times of year by making a small contribution to the gift-wrapping station.

Over the past four years the volunteer-run gift-wrapping service has contributed nearly $40,000 to maintaining the family room; a homely time-out area where anyone visiting a child at the hospital can go to make a cup of coffee, launder clothes, charge their phone or simply spend time together away from the clinical environment of the ward.

Ronald McDonald House community representative (and chief elf) Sandra Collins hopes we can pass the magic $50,000 mark in total donations this Christmas. She explains: “This charity is my life but even I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the Watergardens community when we started this five years ago.”

Ronald McDonald House community representative (and chief elf) Sandra Collins hopes we can pass the magic $50,000 mark in total donations this Christmas. She explains: “This charity is my life but even I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the Watergardens community when we started this five years ago.”

In fact, the proceeds will now go to a bigger and better family room relocated within the soon-to-open $200 million Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital at Sunshine.

Sandra’s team of wrappers consists of volunteers from local businesses and sports clubs who have worked with Ronald McDonald House in the past, midwives from the hospital, and shoppers who simply want to give a few hours of their time to sustaining a valuable community facility.

While children are some of the greatest users of the service, Sandra relishes passing on her wrapping know-how to the next generation. “I had 15-year-old boys from the Calder Cannons Football Club here last year and they started out saying they couldn’t possibly wrap a gift well enough, but after I let them practise on my own Christmas purchases they were making bows and curling ribbon with confidence,” she says.

As for her number one gift-wrapping tip? “Each time you fold the paper make sure you actually crease it, that makes everything easier and neater,” says Sandra.

The gift-wrapping station will be open near Cotton On from 10am on the 3 December until 5pm on 24 December, with 100 per cent of proceeds going to the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Sunshine Hospital.

FULL HOURS HERE