Giving Tree launches bringing Christmas joy to families
published on 23 Nov 2023
Help for Southport families through The Salvation Army Christmas Present Appeal
The Salvation Army in Southport is calling on the community to help them support families this Christmas who will struggle to make ends meet over the festive season.
Every year The Salvation Army asks people to donate new toys and gifts for children whose families cannot put food on the table, heat their homes or pay their bills and this year Southport Salvation Army has created a Giving Tree as part of its annual Christmas Present Appeal. People can take a tag from the tree that lists the details of the child that the church and charity already has a referral for and that their generous gift donation will go on to support.
Gift tags can be collected from the reception area of The Salvation Army’s church and community centre on Shakespeare Street which will have an age and gender of the child so the gift can be tailored to that specific child when being purchased.
Last year, Southport Salvation Army distributed gifts to 498 children and the church and charity fears more people will need support this year.
Kathryn Casserley, Community Programme and Engagement Manager for The Salvation Army in Southport said: “The local community is always incredibly generous when it comes to our Christmas Present Appeal, but in previous years we have seen a range of presents donated for toddlers and young children, but babies, older children and teenagers are overlooked. The gift tag idea will ensure that everyone who has been referred to us receives an age-appropriate gift with each tag featuring details of a child we already know needs support.
“We think there is something beautiful and personal about choosing a special gift with the knowledge of who it will go to and for the individual and families to know that someone has noticed them reflects the love, care and generosity of the Southport community.”
Donations can be dropped off at the church and community centre on Shakespeare Street from Wednesday, November 22, until Friday, December 8. The Salvation Army will then sort and distribute the gifts to children and families in the area through local groups, schools and social services.
Kathryn added: “Helping a parent provide a gift for their child is more than just financial support, it brings the joy of Christmas into their home. We have seen the devastating effect of the cost of living crisis this year and know people are really struggling and so we are doing what we can to relieve the pressure this Christmas.”
Each tag will also feature a QR code which will be linked to Southport Salvation Army’s Just Giving page giving people the flexibility to either go out and buy a gift or donate the suggested amount for that child. Local companies also have the option to give tags to their employees instead of the traditional ‘Secret Santa’ that many partake in each year.
For more information on Southport Salvation Army visit www.salvationarmy.org.uk/southport.