The Mutual Bank’s Annual Christmas Appeal has been a wonderful event for our team and Members in the last few years, brightening local families’ lives at what can be a tough time of year for some.

This year, we are partnering with the Susan Roskell Toy and Gift Drive to help make even more of a difference.

The Susan Roskell Toy and Gift Drive is a community initiative established with the goal of providing gifts and toys to children, and their parents and carers, who have been impacted by the effects of domestic and family violence, homelessness, illness and injury.

The Mutual Bank’s Chief Member Officer Matthew Dunnill said becoming a Platinum Sponsor of the well-established and respected appeal was an easy decision for the member-owned and community focused bank.

“The Susan Roskell Toy and Gift Drive supports grassroots charities and community organisations, helping them to meet the growing needs of families seeking assistance at what can be a really challenging time of year,” Matthew said.

“Each year the donations have steadily increased with thousands of toys going to families in need.”

Todd Sheldon from Bolwarra Heights, who is also the 2022 Maitland Citizen of the Year, organises the annual event which is now in its eighth year. It all started in 2016, when a request from Maitland’s Reading Cinema to support struggling families during the festive season saw Todd, his wife Penny, and their son Lachlan, donating wrapped gifts to a Wishing Tree and from this, the idea of an annual toy drive was born.

“It is heartening to see that with every year, the support from the community and small businesses has grown which enables us to support the ever-increasing number of families that are seeking support and assistance,” said Todd.

“We changed the name in 2022 to honour our mum and nanny who passed away during our 2021 campaign. Mum was a catalyst for starting this and will be forever loved and missed.”

As well as The Mutual Bank branches being a collection point for the gifts, the bank’s team will also volunteer over two days to help sort the donations at their Head Office in Green Hills for distribution to the charities.

Community members can drop unwrapped, new toys and presents and gift vouchers into one of the large boxes at each of our seven branches – Dungog, East Maitland, Edgeworth, Maitland, Mayfield, Raymond Terrace and Rutherford.

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