Local struggling families to benefit from Tobi Parkes’ gifts

Mount Isa Kmart Wishing Tree and Salvation Army clients to benefit from donations from Parkes family


Farm Online News
Mount Isa Kmart employees Vicki Drake and Nicole Hall gather presents donated under the wishing tree. Gifts go to the Salvation Army's Christmas Appeal.

Mount Isa Kmart employees Vicki Drake and Nicole Hall gather presents donated under the wishing tree. Gifts go to the Salvation Army's Christmas Appeal.

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THE family of the nine-year-old boy who recently died at Lake Moondarra donated a trolley of Christmas presents under his name to the Kmart Wishing Tree.

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THE family of the nine-year-old boy who recently died at Lake Moondarra dedicated a trolley of Christmas presents under his name to the Kmart Wishing Tree. 

Last Friday Tobi Parkes’ parents entered the store and donated gifts including a scooter and Nerf guns, which will benefit local families that are struggling this Christmas season. 

The family credited the gifts under the name of Tobi, and his younger brother Dylan, according to Mount Isa Kmart’s customer service manager Nicole Hall. 

Ms Hall did not know who the family was when she asked Tobi’s mother why they were donating such generous gifts. 

“Her and her partner burst into tears,” Ms Hall said. “I said, ‘I’m sorry, you don’t need to tell me.’ She said, ‘we lost our little boy recently’, and then I realised who they were.

Tobi Parkes enjoyed football and BMX, according to a recent fundraising campaign to support his funeral expenses. Photo: GoFundMe.

Tobi Parkes enjoyed football and BMX, according to a recent fundraising campaign to support his funeral expenses. Photo: GoFundMe.

“It was just so touching, and really, really generous and we thank them for their donation. 

“For them to be suffering this loss and think of others at this time...” 

The family had been involved in a jet-ski collision at Lake Moondarra on the morning of Saturday, November 19, which led to Tobi’s death and injuries sustained by Dylan and their father Shane. 

This happened around the same time the Mount Isa Kmart Wishing Tree was formally launched.

The presents collected under the tree are donated to the Salvation Army’s Christmas Appeal. 

Local Salvation Army officer Lieutenant Brad Whittle was unaware of the family’s donations when he was contacted by Fairfax Media. 

“Wow. It’s amazing,” he said. “That’s quite phenomenal. It’s such a selfless and generous act in quite personal circumstances. It’s phenomenal they are thinking of others at this time.” 

As of Monday there were 416 gifts donated to the Kmart Wishing Tree – slightly more than half of the target goal set by the retail store. 200 gifts were donated last week.

Ms Hall said other donations that have recently stood out is from an anonymous person identified on the gifts as ‘Andrew’. The staff still have not managed to catch the donor in the generous act.

Andrew donates around four plastic bags of gifts every week since the wishing tree was installed. The donor was doing the same thing last year. 

“We assumed he works at Woolworths because they (gifts) are always in Woolworths bags.” 

Also, Bridgestone Tyres employees raised $500 among themselves and bought 68 gifts last Saturday. “That was an amazing corporate donation,” Ms Hall said. 

The story Local struggling families to benefit from Tobi Parkes’ gifts first appeared on The North West Star.

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