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Swapping Secret Santa for toy donations this Christmas

TAFE Queensland staff have swapped the usual Secret Santa activity for donating toys to those in need is year.

Staff at TAFE Queensland - SkillsTech have swapped the usual Secret Santa component of their end of year celebrations for donating toys to kids in need this year, meeting at TAFE Queensland's flagship trade training facility in Acacia Ridge to hand over their donations.

As 2022 comes to an end the staff from TAFE Queensland's Brisbane-based trade training sector gathered to celebrate and begin planning for another year of quality training in 2023 and, of course, gather their donations.

TAFE Queensland are one of many organisations ditching the long-held tradition of engaging in a Secret Santa gifting activity between its own staff and instead choosing to put their gifts and Christmas cheer to better use by enlisting in a charity donation drive.

One of the organisers of TAFE Queensland's donation to the charity drive initiative, Dani Costello , said they wanted to contribute to something more meaningful this year and their colleagues wholeheartedly supported the idea.

"It was something we saw come up during the year and thought 'wouldn't it be nice if we could do that for our end of year activity," Dani said.

"So we put it to the General Manager and to the staff in general and were met with a really positive response."

"It turns out we all wanted to put our festive cheer to use and this was a great way to give back to the community and help a great cause."

Staff who participated said they had better enjoyment and fulfilment from the new activity than the old, saying they had often not used the Secret Santa presents in the past.

"It was good to have some Christmas cheer and get involved giving the Secret Santa presents to colleagues in the past, but the gifts were never really used after the day," one staff member said.

"This year I enjoyed the toy drive much more. To put that Christmas cheer towards helping out such an important cause felt like the right thing to do, and I'm sure that feeling of fulfilment will last longer for me than my Secret Santa trinkets have in previous years."

The chosen charity for this group pf TAFE Queensland employees was the Logan House Fire Support Network, who facilitate the yearly Logan Emergency Services Santa Run giving out donated toys to those in need in Logan near the Acacia Ridge campus.

TAFE Queensland finishes the year having hit many milestones, leaving staff with plenty to celebrate in their end of year gatherings. The largest training provider in the state, TAFE Queensland taught more than 130,000 students across Queensland in 2022 and exceeded 25,000 active apprentices.