We know that the silly season is all about giving. Sometimes though, the search for a perfect gift for that demanding relative or difficult friend can take the glint off one’s tinsel. Which is precisely when you should turn your attention (and cash) towards a gift that better satisfies the Christmas spirit criteria.

The Bobby Goldsmith Foundation needs your help, and this year the gift of giving is even a little glamorous. Two Christmas trees are the focus of this year’s BGF appeal, with gift tags added to the tree to represent donations. Executive director of the Bobby Goldsmith Foundation Simon Watts has urged the community to help decorate the trees by giving generously.

This is a brand new initiative for us, Watts told the Star. It’s a value add-on, if you like, to our usual Christmas appeal, which enables people to see the effect of what they’re giving.

The two trees are on display at Aussie Boys clothing store and in the bar of the Stonewall Hotel on Oxford Street. Tags represent set amounts ranging from $25 to $500, with money going towards items such as medication and whitegoods.

BGF is in the business of practical and directed assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS and we’re pleased to be able to return a large proportion [of funds] to people who need direct, immediate assistance, Watts said. At present over 90 percent of every dollar donated to BGF goes directly towards someone living with HIV/AIDS.

The trees are already filling up with gift tags and Watts added that the gift tag system is flexible.

The tag enables you to give the gift on someone else’s behalf for instance, and if you want to give a washing machine, it can say -˜washing machine’, he said.

Fundraising for BGF would continue throughout the Mardi Gras season, and Watts expressed his excitement that New Mardi Gras would be presenting a festival, parade and party.

We’re also in negotiations or discussions with Mardi Gras about what Shop Yourself Stupid might look like, Watts added. We’re really keen to put out a call to frocks, to drag queens, and a call to suits, to drag kings -¦ BGF is acutely aware of the fantastic support we’ve had from the drag community over the years and we want to offer that same opportunity to participate to drag kings.

The other thing to say is that we’re really grateful to the communities generally for their continuing support. It’s about a partnership.

Donations may be made by phone on 9283 8666, online at www.bgf.org.au or at Aussie Boys, 102 Oxford Street, or the Stonewall Hotel, 175 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst.

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