The generosity of Leighton Buzzard folk is second to none as far as this year’s Salvation Army Christmas Toy Appeal is concerned.
Once again the organisation has already had a tremendous response for toys and gifts, which will be distributed to families in the area who are going through hardship and difficult times.
With the ongoing support of Wilkinsons Partnership Estate Agents in Market Square, who act as the collection point for donated gifts, the Army were able to distribute 110 Christmas parcels last year.
This year’s appeal which was launched last month is going well too, but residents are reminded they only have until until Saturday, December 13 to make a donation.
The Salvation Army are able to gather details of families in the area who genuinely need support at this time of year for various reasons - redundancies, financial hardship, bereavement, marital breakdown etc.
Yvonne Dennis, appeal co-ordinator, said that over the seven years she and her husband Don have been responsible for the organisation of this project, there are many stories which could be told.
“We have a good team of helpers who are willing to sort the toys and gifts suitable for the ages of the children. Each child has their own sack of gifts, which are all new, and contain a variety of presents, large and small, including sweets and stocking fillers. Where necessary we are able to deliver the parcels to the family home, and we hear some sad, and some remarkable, stories”.
A quotation from a letter received after last Christmas to The Salvation Army says: “My family were all overwhelmed by the parcels we received. My little girl received some One Direction gifts which made her Christmas. We would never have been able to afford such things”.
Yvonne added: “Last Christmas we were unable to make contact with one family at all, even though we left text messages for them.
“We heard nothing, until 10pm on Christmas Eve, when I had a phone call to say they would still like the presents if it was not too late!
“I personally delivered them as soon as I could after Christmas, and they were delighted and grateful for the gifts we delivered.
“The Salvation Army would not be able to do this without the help of the public.
“The logo for this appeal each year is Give A Gift and Light Up A Life. It doesn’t have to be a big expensive item – a small toy, book, toiletry item, sweets etc will help. Everyone who has given somethiing towards this appeal has helped to ‘Light Up A Life’.