MORE than ever we are counting on you to help the poorest of the poor with the Echo Christmas Toy Appeal.
The first of your gifts are arriving at Echo House and we know there are hundreds of desperate families, single mothers, homeless men and women, as well as young people coming out of care, who face the bleakest of Christmases without your help.
Wearside Women In Need are sheltering scores of mothers and children.
One is a 24-year-old Sunderland mother of three who has just escaped her control-freak husband, leaving everything behind.
It is just days since she arrived at the refuge and has nothing for the children for Christmas. The few toys she had bought she had to leave behind in her “panic pack”.
She said: “I haven’t come to terms with it all. My two-year-old has a birthday just before Christmas and I am trying to get my head round what I am going to do for them all. I’ve got no money and I’m trying to make it as normal as I can for the kids’ sake.”
She arrived with just basics for them all before her husband came home. A friend had given her the WWIN number after another blazing row.
With a son, seven, and a baby girl, she explained how her husband was controlling her life: “He was putting a time limit on how long I was out or messaging me and making me feel guilty into coming home.”
The small pile of toys she left in her bedroom she will never go back for and doesn’t want to see her husband again.
And as the countdown to Christmas begins, we know how there are so many more desperate mothers who are dreading it. Thanks to you, we will be helping destitute families known to Sunderland social services, as well as orphans and needy youngsters.