Toy appeal: How an extra gift from you could make a child’s Christmas

Sunderland Echo Christmas Toy Appeal with children from Sunningale School and Hope 4 Kidz apprentice Shannon Crowden.

Today sees the launch of the Echo’s annual Christmas Toy appeal and once again we are asking you to dig deep and buy one extra gift while you are out shopping to help bring a smile to a child’s face.

For so many of our families the run-up to the big day is one of worry and the need to help is as great today as it has ever been.

Viv Watts with Sunderland Legends Bobby Kerr, Dick Malone, Jimmy Montgomery and Kevin Ball with hospital staff.

The Echo has teamed up for the fourth year with Hope 4 Kidz, the Wearside-based charity, which helps disabled and disadvantaged young people across the region, to give Santa a little helping hand.

All the gifts donated are given to local organisations who help people in need in our community.

Last year we again had amazing response to our appeal and your generosity is always humbling.

Gavin Foster, Managing Editor of the Sunderland Echo, said: “Every year our readers have astounded us with their generosity and we hope that this year will be no exception. We appreciate how difficult times are for many families and thank you all for the wonderful way in which you respond to our appeal.”

Hope 4 Kidz will also be hosting its annual Santa’s Christmas party at Illusion nightclub, Sunderland, on Sunday, December 3, and is appealing for selection boxes to give the young guests.

Last year more than 400 children attended and had a whale of time meeting The Super Heroes, balloon artist, playing games and dancing as well as meeting the big man himself, Santa.

The party is an opportunity for children, many of whom are suffering from long-term illnesses, disability, abuse and poverty, to feel special and forget their problems.

Every gift, no matter how small is appreciated, but we do ask that they are all new and should not be wrapped.

Gifts are needed for all ages groups – from babies to young people, mums and dads to older members of our society.

Your gifts can be left at one of our designated drop -off points: Tesco in The Bridges; Morrisons, Seaburn; Morrisons, Doxford Park; Sainsbury’s, Wessington Way; Sainsbury’s, Silksworth; Sainsbury’s, Washington, Sainsbury’s, Fulwell; Virgin Money, Fawcett Street, Virgin Money, The Bridges; Hays Travel, Holmeside; Santander, Wilkinsons and Nationwide, in Market Square. The last day for donations is December 18.

Any charity or organisation who would like to be considered for a donation of gifts, contact Hope 4 Kidz on 0191 5347788.

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