Children and families across Reading will hopefully enjoy a happy Christmas this year, thanks to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal.
So far more than 200 gifts have been donated with the latest being added from toy services conducted at The Salvation Army’s Corps (churches) at Reading Central in Anstey Road, Reading West Corps in Oxford Road and Lower Earley Corps in Chalfont Close.
Lieutenant Kenneth Guest is delighted with the response so far but is encouraging the generosity of the public to continue as the appeal continues to run until December 16th.
Members of the public are invited to drop in to the Superdrug Stores in Broad Street and St Martins Precinct in Caversham with gifts for children aged 0-16. The gifts will be then be distributed to referred children and families in the area through The Salvation Army’s own networks, local groups and social services.
Gifts can also be dropped off at The Salvation Army’s Reading Central Corps in Anstey Road, Reading West Corps at 522 Oxford Road and Reading Lower Earley Corps in Chalfont Road, Lower Earley.
This year agencies including social services have called upon The Salvation Army in Reading to provide gifts for around 500 people.
Lieutenant Guest said: ‘The response so far has been tremendous and we are almost at the halfway mark for what is needed in Reading.
’ The Salvation Army has a long history of offering practical support to people who are vulnerable or in need.
‘Millions of children and young people have benefited from the gifts donated to The Salvation Army over many years. By giving a gift to our Christmas Present Appeal you can make a real difference in someone’s life at Christmas.’
Making a donation to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal is simple. Buy a toy or gift for a child aged 0-16 years and take it, unwrapped to your local Superdrug Store or Salvation Army hall. A team of volunteers will then wrap the gift and ensure it reaches a needy child or young person this Christmas.
International church and charity The Salvation Army is one of the UK’s largest and most diverse providers of social services after the Government. Through its network of 800 churches and social service centres, The Salvation Army works with thousands of children and families and is perfectly placed to distribute the Christmas Present Appeal gifts to those people in society who are most at need at Christmas.
’Many families linked with local partner agencies such as single-parent support networks and family centres have come to rely on the toys donated through The Salvation Army’s annual gift appeal,’ said Kenneth.
’For children and young people we need everything, from soft and educational toys for the very youngest, to CDs, games and toys and accessories for older children. And please, don’t forget the teenagers, particularly the boys who sometimes tend to get left out of such appeals.
’If you have children or grandchildren, or nieces and nephews or young friends, think of what they might like in their Christmas stocking and consider buying one extra present and donating it,’ said Kenneth.
’We believe every child deserves a new gift at Christmas, and are therefore unable to take used or second hand items for the Christmas Present Appeal.’