AGL Loy Yang employees are sending season’s greetings to 16,000 families in need this Christmas, writing festive digital messages as part of The Smith Family’s Toy and Book Appeal.

The messages will accompany digital gift cards which will be distributed by The Smith Family.

AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said that it was touching to see AGL Loy Yang employees come together to support the wider community.

“The enthusiastic response of our people to this initiative has been really special to see,” Mr Brokhof said.

“The Smith Family hosted two online group volunteering sessions, where our employees learned about the challenges children, students and families have faced due to the pandemic.

“It has been such a difficult year for many, and we hope these heartfelt messages from our employees bring a smile to many faces this Christmas.  

“We are proud to be part of this initiative and support the local community who have always supported our work and people.”

The Smith Family Head of Strategy and Philanthropy, Judy Barraclough said the charity is incredibly grateful for the support of generous corporate partners like AGL Loy Yang and especially to those employees who are highly engaged in The Smith Family’s work.

”While our focus remains on education throughout the year, we also know it’s special for a child to feel included at Christmas time,” Ms Barraclough said.

“Each of these messages will mean so much to children and families who have done it tough all year, with COVID forcing students out of the classroom and away from their teachers and peers.”

AGL Loy Yang General Manager, Christo van Niekerk said the generosity shown by our people this year has been overwhelming.

“Along with volunteering for The Smith Family, employees have also assisted Morwell Neighbourhood House in packing hampers for families in need,” Mr van Niekerk said.

“We have donated $1,500 for food items for the hampers and packed nearly 150 hampers that will be distributed to around 150 families.

“To bring more brightness and warmth into the homes of families, this year we are also sponsoring Traralgon’s Carols by Candlelight virtual event.

“The annual community event is attended by thousands from the Latrobe Valley and beyond, and we are pleased to have provided a $6,000 grant from our AGL Loy Yang Community Support Fund.

“We encourage everyone to tune in to a great evening of entertainment and sing along with us on 19 December.”