The appeal, run by StokeyParents in partnership with Location Location estate agency and the Local Buyers club, supplies new toys to the Ivy Street Family Centre, which are distributed at Christmas to children in most need via a network of social workers, schools, children’s centres, hostels, hospices, refuges and the Food Bank.
This year with poverty worse than ever, the number of referrals for toys was up by a third. 3,000 seemed like quite a mission but as always the local community stepped up and have been amazingly generous. Our thanks go to everyone who donated.
Over 4,000 new toys were collected and given out as big presents and stocking fillers. The toys, which filled a lorry and two vans, covered most of the floor of the Ivy Street Family Centre and took an army of volunteers a day to sort.
Claire Reay, of the Ivy Street Family Centre which distributes the toys, said most people were moved to tears when they saw the quality and volume of gifts donated. She added: “Many of the children who receive gifts through this appeal wouldn’t have a Christmas without it.”
Appeal founder Jenna Fansa, of StokeyParents, added: “By December we’re nervous wrecks worrying if we’ll get enough. We have come to feel the weight of responsibility for making Christmas special for every child, but it turns out we needn’t worry; the entire community has shouldered that responsibility and come up trumps.
“For the families these toys reach, this gesture represents so much more than just a gift. We hope they feel the warmth of a community who care greatly, and we hope that beyond the initial excitement of opening a new present, the children enjoy playing with them for a long time to come.
“We’ve been blown away by the response this year – I am so incredibly grateful to everyone who donated and to the teams at Location Location and the Local Buyers Club who sponsored the appeal and devoted many, many hours to helping deliver the toys to the centre. Location Location also helped us out with the cost of storing and moving the toys and donated hundreds of toys to the appeal.”
As well as donating an estimated £35,000 worth of toys, locals also donated the equivalent to hundreds of meals for Hackney Food Bank.
For the families these toys reach, this gesture represents so much more than just a gift.
Posted 18th December 2017
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