Wednesday, 09 November 2022 11:28

Sale Greyhound Racing Club boosts Christmas wishes of children in need

Sale Greyhound Racing Club is embracing the spirit of Christmas by setting up a Giving Tree to help provide gifts to children who live in out-of-home care.

And Sale Greyhound Racing Club operations manager Rob Popplestone has urged the local community to “dig deep” and take the opportunity to be a part of the special program.

“Our Giving Tree sits at the entrance to the Sale Greyhound Racing Club for all to see. We want patrons, staff, and the local community to be encouraged to donate gifts for those kids who need them most,” Mr Popplestone said.

The Giving Tree initiative was started in 2016 by Heather Baird as an extension of her charity, A Better Life for Foster Kids. Heather knows first-hand how hard the holidays can be for children in the system, as she was placed into out-of-home care at two and a half years of age.

“I was raised in the out-of-home system from the ages of two and a half to 17 years of age. I knew what it was like to not get Christmas presents, so I wanted to make sure other kiddies didn’t feel the same way.”

Mrs Baird cannot thank the Sale Greyhound Racing Club enough for their generosity and kindness.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to the community and the club. The way they support local charities is amazing. They provide so many opportunities for local charity groups to give back. I find it incredible that every person I deal with at the club makes you feel so welcome, they are ever so eager to help,” Mrs Baird said.

The Giving Tree averages around 3,000 gifts a year. Last year the charity helped provide Christmas gifts for 700 families. So far, The Giving Tree has received enough gifts to help 500 children, and Mrs Baird says this is expected to increase to at least 1,500 by Christmas time.

Giving Tree recipient Janet B turned to A Better Life for Foster Kids two weeks before Christmas, after leaving a domestic violence home with her three children, as well as caring for her sister's three children.

“I wanted to buy the children a bike but with everything happening at this time I knew this would be difficult. Someone suggested I call A Better Life for Foster Kids; I spoke to Heather, and not only did we have a bike for the kids we also received a few smaller toys for them to open as well. It was amazing, and I could not believe that the community cared so much for these children. A huge thank you to everyone for making this possible, “Janet said.

The Giving Tree will be accepting gifts under the value of $40 up until Christmas Eve.

“The Giving Tree takes the pressure off carers. It shows the kiddies that people care enough about them to buy these gifts. It is important that these children know they are loved, cared for, and wanted. This program is just a little thing to say we are thinking about you, and you are worth it,” Mrs Baird said.

For more information about The Giving Tree and A Better Life for Foster Kids please visit;

Please contact Mary Nania for further details and comments.
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