FAMILIES in need are hoping to enjoy a happy Christmas this year, thanks to The Salvation Army.
Through the charity’s Christmas Toy Appeal, generous Wearsiders have been donating presents for children who might otherwise face a bleak Christmas.
Until this Friday, secret Santas can drop in to any Superdrug store or Salvation Army Centre with unwrapped gifts for children aged from birth to 16.
The gifts will then be wrapped and handed out to children and families through The Salvation Army’s own networks, local groups and social services.
The charity also receives donations of food throughout the year, which, while not suitable for the toy appeal, are handed out as food parcels.
Donations come from harvest festivals and from organisations such as Barclays Bank, which has donated items to go towards 25 food parcels, which will be handed out to families and people at Christmas.
Graham Wharton, project manager at The Salvation Army’s Southwick Community Project in Sunderland, said: “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.
“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.
“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.”