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Rolling Pin bakery dishes up a Christmas surprise for local children in foster care

Not only famous for its award-winning pies, The Rolling Pin bakery in Leopold, southeast Geelong, is busy spreading Christmas cheer by hosting a Christmas Gift Appeal for MacKillop Family Services.

Owners of the Rolling Pin bakery chain, Nathan and Kristy Williams and Stacey and Todd Lincoln, are amazed at the generosity of customers and delighted that the local community has supported the Christmas Appeal by dropping off toys and presents. These will go to vulnerable children and young people in the Barwon area who are unable to live with their own families this Christmas.

“We heard about MacKillop’s Christmas Appeal, and we know about the fantastic work they do through foster care to support families who need help. It seemed like a great opportunity for us to do something for kids who might find it difficult at Christmas time.

“We’re delighted with the result. Local schools came on board, our own staff got together to raise funds to buy presents and our customers have donated lots of toys, so it’s been a whole community effort and demonstrates the great community spirit there is in this area,” Nathan Williams said.

MacKillop Family Services’ Home Based and Out of Home Care Coordinator, Miranda Carter, says that the donations of toys and presents are particularly welcome this year.

“We know that the rising costs of living can make Christmas a difficult time and we are especially grateful to everyone who has supported the Christmas Appeal. I can’t tell you what a difference this makes, and we are thrilled that the community is supporting children and young people in foster care.

“Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for kids who can’t be with their families and helping with Christmas gifts is one of the ways we can support carers to help make it a special day. Caring for vulnerable children and young people is something the whole community can be involved in, and I’m delighted that people here in Leopold value and understand the importance of foster carers and the work they do.”

MacKillop’s Christmas Appeal at Rolling Pin bakery runs until Monday 5 December and the gifts will be packed up and delivered to MacKillop Family Services over the following days.

We’re dusting off our sequins and getting ready to sparkle as MacKillop Family Services joins in the fun for the Sydney Mardi Gras Fair Day on Sunday 19 February.

Fair Day runs from 10.00 am to 9.00 pm and staff from MacKillop will be at the stall to talk to people at Fair Day who are interested in becoming foster carers.

Foster carer, Rebecca Johnstone from Bateman’s Bay, NSW, hopes that the opportunity to talk to people at the MacKillop stall will help tackle the myths in the community that exist around who can be foster carers.

“Too many people think single people or people from the LGBATIQA+ community cannot be foster carers. I want them to know that is not the case. I’m a proud member of the queer community and becoming a carer has been one of the best things I’ve ever done.“

Rebecca enquired about foster care when her two girls had grown up as she always loved having kids around and she knew that there are many children in the area who are not able to live safely in their own homes. She now looks after two children, one of whom was non-verbal when they came to live with Rebecca and has now become a happy little chatterbox.

“Making a positive difference to a young person’s life is such an enriching experience. It does my heart good to see my little friends flourish and thrive and I’m very happy to be an integral part of their support systems,” Rebecca added.

MacKillop’s National Leader of Foster Care Development, Jasmine Perry, says people do not realise that there is a critical shortage of foster carers throughout Australia.

“Each year, the number of children and young people needing foster care grows. And it grows more quickly than we can find people to care for them. Our foster carers come from all different walks of life, but what they have in common is the desire to provide safe and nurturing homes for children and young people who are unable to live in their own homes.

“Visitors to our Fair Day stall will have the opportunity to talk to some of our carers from the LGBTIQA+ community about their real experiences of being a foster carer. They can find out about the different types of foster care, our comprehensive training, the 24-hour support available and hear firsthand about the process of becoming a foster carer.

Find out more about becoming a foster carer.