Newcastle domestic violence support charity Friends With Dignity has launched its annual Christmas Toy Drive and urges the community to help make Christmas a little brighter for those in need.

Donations collected by Friends with Dignity from a previous year. Photo: Supplied.

Friends With Dignity is a volunteer-run charity that works with refuges and crisis centres to offer practical programs to help survivors of domestic violence.

Friends With Dignity CEO Manuela Whitford said parents and children fleeing domestic violence would not be spending Christmas in their home but a local refuge.

“We are currently in the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women, which is a fitting time to also think about helping those who have experienced violence,” Whitford said.

“Your generous donation will make Christmas a little brighter for someone going through a really difficult and traumatic time.

“Parents fleeing domestic violence often don’t have the money to spare to get their kids a Christmas present.”

Friends With Dignity CEO Manuela Whitford. Photo: Jerad Williams

Friends With Dignity has been running its Christmas Toy Drive for six years and donated more than 4000 toys and gifts to refugees in the Hunter, South East Queensland and Perth last year.

This year, donated gifts will go to people staying in or being supported by refuges, including Carrie’s Place, Jenny’s Place and Nova for Women and Children.

Unwrapped toys and gifts can be taken to Storage King at 54A Clyde Street, Hamilton North, or donations can be made via mycause and Friends With Dignity will purchase the gifts.

Whitford said workplaces might wish to organise a group donation, and Friends With Dignity volunteers will pick them up.

“Donating via mycause is a simple way to help and ensures we can purchase gifts for teenagers who often miss out because people mostly, generously, donate toys for little children,” Whitford said.

Workplace pick-ups are available between December 13 and 17. To arrange a pick-up, email

To find out more about Friends with Dignity, its other programs, to volunteer or to donate, visit

Information source: Media release

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