Christmas comes early for thousands of underprivileged children in Victoria.

By Iskhandar Razak

For 13-year-old Yosef, an AFL footy, some toys for his sisters and a few books mean the world.

He and his family are from Ethiopia and live in a housing commission flat in Melbourne.

Yosef is one of 15,000 children around Australia getting Christmas gifts from The Smith Family charity this weekend.

“I don’t know how to say thank you, it is a big, a big feeling,” he said after getting his package.

“My sister loves toys, and for her it’ll help her sit down and play, and for me, it means I can read books, on the weekends, anytime I want.”

The Smith Family is the largest education charity in Australia, and this year it will give out more than 40,000 new toys and 35,000 books to children.

But its Victorian general manager Anton Leschen said more needs to be done.

“There has been 620,000 children in jobless households, that is now 660,000 kids,” he said.

“Through no fault of their own, they are at risk of missing Christmas and missing out on their education.”

Volunteers help spread Christmas cheer

But while the number of needy children is growing, Mr Leschen said so is the charity’s volunteer base.

“We’ve had 400 over the last four weeks, and today, there are 230 volunteers including 100 drivers, making sure kids don’t miss out,” he said.

And those that volunteer tend to do it every year because they discover it how much their effort means to others.

“We’ve been to all different parts of Melbourne, met some wonderful people, and the people are very grateful and that is really part of Christmas,” said Peter Demura who has been a volunteer for the past 20 years.

Simon Corden and his daughter Maddy are also repeat volunteers, and this year gave Yosef and his sisters their gifts.

“It is great to come and drop of a few presents, they are not as lucky as us, but making a go of it,” he said.

“My dad was a refugee, my mum came from a very challenged, poor family, when she was younger, and I just know that this sort of support that they received made a huge difference to them.

“I’m just really pleased that we can contribute something back.”

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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