Chesterton Salvation Army (Sandford Street) is encouraging people to add an extra toy to their shopping list so that families struggling to buy a gift for their children can make sure there is a small surprise under their Christmas tree this year.
Community Centre Manager at the Chesterton Salvation Army, Teresa Dunn said: “During the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet.
“The Christmas Story inspires us as a church to reach out to those in need, so we’re running the Christmas Present Appeal to ensure every child gets a present. We are very much in need of gifts for teenagers, baby girls and boys and girls and boys ages 8-10 years. The appeal involves all other Salvation Army churches across North Staffordshire.”
People are invited to drop a new unused toy for a child aged from new born to 16 years old to any Salvation Army Church, Freeport Talke, Sainsburys (Hanley, Biddulth, Newcastle and Leek stores) from 02/11/16 to 19/12/16. Givers of gifts are asked not to wrap them because The Salvation Army will need to categorise them first, however donations of wrapping paper are welcome with the gift. The Salvation Army will distribute the gifts through its own networks, local groups and social services.
The appeal has grown year by year and involves local businesses such as Dupre Minerals, Goldstar Powders, Goodwin International, Johnsons Photopia Ltd, KMF, Portmerion, Radwell International, Rotary Club, Aspire Housing, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Newcastle Borough, local schools and individuals all donating gifts for children. There are many more involved in addition to those listed.
Gifts can include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys and accessories for older children.
Mayor of Newcastle Worshipful Ian Wilkes said: “Last year we delivered over 12,000 presents to families in need. If you have children, grandchildren, or children you support, think of what they might like in their Christmas stocking and consider buying an extra present and donating it.”
Lord Mayor of Stoke Anthony Munday said: “We’re asking for brand-new toys or gifts, so the families we support feel extra special. We are grateful for all donations we receive.” The Salvation Army works throughout the year to provide compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help to people who are vulnerable, or in need in Chesterton.
In addition to church services every Sunday at 10.30am, The Salvation Army runs a coffee shop, a lunch club (on Wednesdays), an over-60s club, a lone parents group and a group for parents and toddlers.
Captain Bryan Lang, Church leader at Chesterton Salvation Army said: “We have our Christmas Day service at 10.30am at Chesterton with our brass band and choir. We have our Carol Service on 18th December at 10.30am. It will be a great way to celebrate Christmas and we’d love to see you there.”
For more information about the Christmas Present Appeal, please contact Teresa Dunn on 01782 564529. For more information about the church services and activities provided by The Salvation Army please contact Captains Bryan and Barbara Lang 01782 564529.