The Family Appeal - Making Christmas brighter

published on 20 Nov 2014

Two charities have teamed up once again to make Christmas brighter for thousands of children and families across Northern Ireland.

The 35th annual Family Appeal was launched at Belfast City Hall today by the Deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Máire Hendron, and sees The Salvation Army and The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) join forces once again to spread more festive cheer.

Last year's appeal distributed more than 30,000 gifts to children across Northern Ireland – all of which was made possible by the generosity of local people and organisations.

It is expected that requests for assistance from this year's Appeal will remain high, reflecting the financial difficulties facing many families at this time.

The Deputy Lord Mayor said: “It’s an honour to be able to launch this year’s Family Appeal.

“At Christmas time the emphasis is on families and children and how important it is for people to have presents for their children. I would ask that the public consider other people at this time of year and buy an extra gift for the Family Appeal.”

Major Elwyn Harries, the leader of The Salvation Army in Northern Ireland, said: “The Family Appeal makes a practical difference to the lives of young people - and every gift has the potential to brighten someone's Christmas.

“Many families are facing financial difficulties, which is why the Family Appeal needs people’s support now more than ever.”

Pauline Brown for SVP NI added: “Ideally, we would love for the need for the Family Appeal to be diminishing but unfortunately the reality is that due to the continuing harsh financial climate, the appeal is getting larger as more and more families struggle to make ends meet. We’re so grateful that the ever-giving public and business community has continued to step up to the mark.

“The aim of the Family Appeal is to ensure that no child goes without a gift on Christmas morning and we would ask that people from across NI continue to support the appeal because it makes a huge difference at what should be a festive time for all.”

All gifts must be new and unwrapped and suitable for children and young people - from tiny tots to teenagers. Family gifts of board games and tins of sweets or biscuits are always welcome. Teenagers can often appreciate gift tokens, CDs and toiletries.

If you feel you are eligible for support from the Family Appeal contact your local social worker, health visitor or one of the charities for guidance notes and an application form.

Gift donations can be made at any branch of The Salvation Army or SVP NI. For a full list of drop-off points, click here