28 November 2022

Santa's helpers dressed in blue are helping him out with delivering toys

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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Constable Taylor Jones and Inspector Jill Gibson

Wagga Wagga Police Station Constable Taylor Jones and Riverina Police District Inspector for Community Engagement Jill Gibson are ready to collect toys for children in need this year. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

Riverina Police District Inspector for Community Engagement Jill Gibson has revealed she’s had secret communications with Santa Claus this year on highly classified toy matters.

“Santa said sometimes the lists are really long,” Inspector Gibson said.

“Sometimes not everybody gets what they need, and maybe we [Wagga Wagga Police Station] can help with that.

“We are a 24/7 organisation and as much as we love fighting crime, helping the community is one of the most important things to us as police officers,” she said.

Wagga Police Station is organising a toy drive, collecting unopened toys and colouring items for local kids in need.

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Inspector Gibson said that over the Christmas period, the police would always come across children and families doing it tough.

“It’s always good to have something squirrelled away somewhere to make some kid’s day,” she said.

“We see the stress on families and kids over Christmas can be very difficult, but to see a smile on the little faces can make a difference and make it a little bit easier.

The Inspector said the officers had given out toys to hospitals, kids involved in accidents, and kids at the police station.

“This year, we’re also getting involved with our local multicultural groups. We want to help out some of the refugees who have moved to Australia recently and bring a bit of joy to their Christmas.”

Inspector Gibson said the officers attached to Wagga Police Station started collecting last week and will deliver the toys to the children all the way up until Christmas Day.

Inspector Gibson has done a toy drive at every station she has been posted at for the past decade.

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“Wagga Police Station had done the toy drives previously, and we’d like to see them become an annual event,” she said.

Inspector Gibson said members of the community who wished to donate toys or money could do so by popping down to the Wagga Police Station.

“We’ve got a list of growing names for kids that we’re looking for items for … it’s your chance to buy that toy you really wanted to buy for someone but don’t have anyone to give them to,” she said.

“We’re not a registered charity, but we do have a money jar, and I do keep all the receipts that I buy, and I’m proficient at spending the money.

“If any businesses out there want to do a toy drive, drop into us, and we can distribute for them as well.

Members of the community can make their donations until Christmas Day.

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