Now Reading
Sydney gay club has turned into a charity hub for Christmas

Sydney gay club has turned into a charity hub for Christmas

Jack Rae from ARQ Sydney (L) with friend collecting toys for the Smith Family's Christmas Appeal

One of Sydney’s most popular LGBTI clubs has opened its doors to help a Christmas charity drive for children in need.

ARQ Sydney is near the city’s Oxford St gay precinct and is a favourite nightclub of LGBTI people from around the world.

But in the lead-up to Christmas it is leading a donation drive for The Smith Family’s Christmas Appeal. The Smith Family is an independent children’s charity that works with disadvantaged children.

ARQ’s duty manager Jack Rae is the man behind the nightclub’s altruistic initiative. He set up Arq’s first donation drive in 2016.
‘Last year I was inspired by my friend Gael Donaldson (who has organised drop off points for the appeal for several years now) to get involved and encourage people to donate to the cause,’ he told Gay Star News.

‘The Smith Family is a wonderful charity and the appeal gets thousands of toys and books to disadvantaged kids who would otherwise be likely wake up to no presents on Christmas morning.’

In its first year, the staff at Arq were overwhelmed with the amount of support they got with people dropping off toys, books and cash donations.

‘Last year we had lots of people drop off toys and books. We also had lots of people who wanted to donate a toy but didn’t have the time to go shopping so they made cash donations instead,’ Rae said.

‘Some of our wonderful queens including Coco Jumbo, Krystal Kleer and Fantasia Starr also did the rounds through the crowds with collection buckets.

‘The wonderful Felicity Frockaccino donated her time to help us film a little promo video for the appeal that featured her shopping at Kmart in drag, buying toys with all the money that people had donated over the weekend.’

Get in the Christmas spirit

People in Sydney who would like to help out can donate a toy or book you can by drop it off to ARQ’s Cloak Room during trading hours on or before the 10 December.

Alternatively people can leave a cash donation and the ARQ staff will buy toys and books to donate.

Some of ARQ’s drag queens will also be doing the rounds through the crowd at ARQ with collection buckets this coming weekend. People are encouraged to keep an eye out for them to dig deep and give generously.