More than 400 cars and 1000 children made their way through Variety’s Xmas Toy Drive-Thru at McDonald Jones Stadium last week, giving local kids who are facing disadvantage a chance to experience the magic of the festive season.

More than 1000 Hunter children received a free Christmas toy from Variety. Photo supplied: Justin Worboys photography

Variety, a charity for children in need, hosted the Xmas Toy Drive-Thru for Newcastle and Hunter children who are sick, disadvantaged or living with a disability.

The annual Variety Kids Xmas Party in Newcastle was unable to go ahead this year due to COVID-19, and the drive-through event was conceived as its replacement.

Event manager Brooke Bell said there was a fantastic turnout, with a huge line-up of cars stretching through the whole McDonald Jones Stadium carpark.

“Everyone had their windows wound down, and we could see the huge smiles on the kids’ faces, and the parents too,” Bell said.

“It was so nice to see the whole family enjoying the event.

“Each child who the Variety charity supports received a gift, which we are able to do through the donations we collect throughout the year.

Roving characters at the Xmas Toy Drive-Thru. Photo supplied: Justin Worboys photography

“This event gives those families something to look forward to as well as inviting our donators and supporters to come along and see what their support does for these kids.”

While the children received their free Christmas gift, they were entertained by roving characters, Santa Claus, a DJ, Bash cars and postie bikes.

Community members can still make donations and help Variety purchase toys and assist families this Christmas by visiting their website.

Hayley McMahon

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