An event in the Illawarra aims to give Illawarra & South Coast children who are sick, disadvantaged or have a disability and their families “a break from their everyday stresses”.
The KidzWish Children's Christmas Parts is organised by children's charity KidzWish.
The annual Christmas Party takes place at WIN Entertainment Centre each November.
KidzWish marketing manager Karouna Micheal said this event is for children up to the age of 18 years old from the local region.
4300 kids and carers enjoy an action-packed day of fun, love and laughter.
Each child receives a toy, lunch and 3 hours packed of entertainment.
“It’s for the kids because local kids matter; whether they’re part of our KidzWish programs, their siblings or schools that support children who are sick, disadvantaged or have a disability,” Mr Micheal said.
He said the event enabled the children “to have a break from hospitals, therapies, and everyday stresses”, and offered some respite for their families.
He said last year's Christmas Party 50% of children had a disability, 40% of children were disadvantaged and 10% of children suffered from an illness.
“They come to the KidzWish Christmas Party and they have one thing in common – they are all local kids and they all deserve the same opportunities,” Mr Micheal said.
“A lot of the kids will know each other from KidzWish programs as well, so they’ll have some familiar faces.
“Or if they’ve been coming to the party for a couple of years they’ll have some friends there. They may only see them once a year, but it’s a really nice touchstone for them.”
“When we come to the Christmas Party we are here for one reason only and that's to have a good time.”
“It’s all about having fun and a break… And letting the kids just be kids.”
A 'Once upon a time theme' - inspired party is on the agenda for 2018, celebrating 15 years since KidzWish was founded.
“They all come dressed as either their favourite Disney characters, or they’ll come dressed as the KidzWish Fairy,” Mr Micheal said.
KidzWish helps Illawarra & South Coast children who are sick, disadvantaged or have a disability providing them with Speech Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Music/Dance/Sports/Experience Programs and the KidzWish Children’s Christmas Party.