LEGEND states that St Nicholas, or Santa, lived in about 350AD and used to give anonymous donations to people in need.
Whether or not the tales are true, St Nick’s kindness lives on in a 90-year-old Oakleigh resident.
Each year Len Hawkett, nick-named Melbourne’s own Santa, donates hundreds of hand-crafted toys to Anglicare for Victoria’s foster children.
And last Wednesday, Mr Hawkett launched Anglicare’s Christmas Food and Toy Appeal with a donation of 700 toys.
Anglicare supports children, youth and families throughout Victoria and aims to collect 10,000 gift and food hamper donations for clients at its 40 agency sites.
Mr Hawkett has supported the cause for the past 24 years.
He uses his talent in carving to create helicopters, trucks, cars and doll houses to donate as Christmas gifts for children.
Anglicare CEO Ray Cleary said Mr Hawkett’s generosity was “such a blessing” to children in need.
“To have someone in the local community as generous as Len donate these toys to children is such a blessing.
“At this time of year, Anglicare is seeking toy and food donations not only for families in need, but for 1600 foster children in our care – children removed from their parents due to family breakdown, financial problems, illness or parenting problems.
“While they are raised by our dedicated foster carers, it’s just not the same as waking up to Christmas Day in your own home, and celebrating with relatives, cousins and close friends.
“Len’s toys will spread so much joy to these children, who usually have so little to celebrate during the festive season.”
Assisted by Victoria Police, Mr Hawkett delivered his booty to Anglicare and Police Commissioner Christine Nixon officially launched the campaign.
Donate to the campaign by leaving items under the colossal Christmas Tree in the foyer of 101 Collins Street, Melbourne, or by calling Anglicare on 1800809722.
Anglicare’s Christmas Angel decorations can be purchased at Bunnings and BI-LO stores.