Christmas 4 Kids appeal seeking donations

Tiffany Smith from Vibe Health and Fitness is seeking donations for Backpack 4 Vic Kids. Picture: PARKER MCKENZIE.

By Parker McKenzie

Vibe Health and Fitness in Emerald is running a Christmas 4 Kids appeal for a charity supporting children in out of home care.

Vibe Health and Fitness is asking people to leave a small present under the Christmas tree in their main lobby to be donated to Backpacks 4 Vic Kids, a charity providing essential items for children and teenagers in out of home care throughout Victoria.

Tiffany Smith said she was inspired to help the charity because of her own experience as a foster parent.

“Our daughter has been with us since she was 12 and she is now 25,” she said.

“A lot of these kids they don’t want to ask you for anything because you are a complete stranger until they get to know you.”

Backpacks 4 Vic Kids have provided over $3 million worth of material relief to local children in need.

Mrs Smith said she donated remotely through Covid restrictions after discovering the charity.

“During lockdown I discovered Sally, whose the CEO Backpacks4Vickids, talking about her charity,” she said.

“I thought that’d have been fantastic if that was around when Amber first came to us.”

The charity is a registered non-for-profit run by volunteers and was founded in 2014. Backpacks 4 Vic Kids have supported over 9000 children with donations and relief packages.

Mrs Smith said every donated backpack has around $400 worth of items for the child.

“It’s a very transparent organisation because every single donation that comes in is counted, and every piece of clothing is barcoded so it can be put on racks,” she said.

“In total to get a boy and girl backpack for all age groups is 76 different backpacks, so the range that they need is huge.”

Backpacks 4 Vic Kids operates solely on donations sought through fundraising, grants and sponsorship.

She said the best donations to give at the moment are those for older teenagers.

“Anything for older girls and boys, so anything for those aged 14 and older,” she said.

“Including clothing, books, makeup but nothing with aerosol, alcohol or a blade it, even a shaving kit without the blade would be good for a teenage boy whose too shy to ask for one.”

Vibe Health and Fitness is located 366 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald and donations can be dropped at the front lobby.

For more information about Backpacks 4 Vic Kids visit