Reading Family Aid’s Toys & Teens Appeal, sponsored by The Chronicle, Reading, will be ending on 4th December. The charity has had an unprecedented amount of requests for presents this year, for nearly 3,000 children, as parents “struggle to keep houses and feed their children.”
The charity’s Toys and Teens Appeal, sponsored by The Reading Chronicle, aims to plug the gap, but one volunteer of 20 years said the rising demand was “scary”.
“Everybody thinks Reading is quite an affluent place but there’s huge areas of deprivation and the gap between those that have and those that haven’t seems to be growing. It’s pretty bleak,” said Ruth Perkins, from RFA.
“The number of children has just gone up and up. When I was first involved I think there was about 500 and we are just under 3,000 this year. That’s 3,000 Reading children who otherwise wouldn’t get any Christmas presents so it’s quite scary really.”
She continued: “It’s always a bit stressful – will we match up the number of donations against the number of children?”
The Toys and Teens appeal has gathered support over the years from its incredibly kind donators including Big Yellow Storage, Tescos, Roc Search, The Masons, Logicalis, MacBeths and Connect Reading .
One organization making a difference is the John Sykes Foundation, which donated £1,000 to the cause on Friday, November 18.
Founder John Sykes said: “Every child should feel the excitement of waking up to gifts under the tree, however we know for some families that after a tough year are struggling to even get by day-to-day, and for some it's a question of putting food on the table or affording presents.”
There are 28 donation points across Reading and the surrounding areas where generous residents can visit.
If you work for a company based in Reading or the surrounding areas, consider setting up a toy collection in your office, like Cellnex and many others have done, or donating to one of the donation points across Reading.
Please visit our Toy Donations page for details of how to donate and what can (and can't) be donated. There is also an online GoFundMe appeal.
Money donated buys presents for age groups that aren’t typically provided for, like teenagers, as well as batteries for toys, and is an easier way to donate for those that can’t access donation points.
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