Reading Family Aid’s Toys and Teens appeal is back for another year, sponsored by The Chronicle. This year the appeal is accepting new and nearly new toys at 33 donation points across Reading and the surrounding areas. These toys and gifts will be distributed to disadvantaged children in Reading and the surrounding area, ready to be opened on Christmas day.
Christmas is an exciting time for families in Reading, regardless of culture or religion.
And the appeal supports thousands of children living in poverty from refugees to families struggling in poverty.
Imagine feeling you have to leave your home, family, friends to protect yourself and your children. Maybe you are fleeing violence or persecution. You pay and take terrible risks to get to the UK and find that you've jumped from the frying pan into the fire. You're in a totally different culture, may not speak the language, have little or no money and, have little hope of providing what you hoped would be a better life for you and your children any time soon. Already traumatised from your experiences, you and your children will likely be placed in a one room in a budget hotel with no cooking facilities and be subject to a long wait whilst your fate is decided.
Christmas is an exciting time for families in Reading, regardless of culture or religion. And the appeal supports thousands of children living in poverty from refugees to families struggling in poverty.
Ruth Perkins, a volunteer at Reading Family Aid said, “This sadly isn’t a scenario
we’ve asked readers to imagine. It’s a reality for many, many families living right
here, in Reading in 2023. I visited such a family to deliver toys and was welcomed
into the tiny flat. The floors were concrete. There were no curtains. There was no
furniture. No fridge. No washing machine. The little boy had no toys at all - he was
just playing with a cardboard box. The Mum wasn't expecting me. She was
overwhelmed when I showed her the sack of toys I had brought and burst into tears.
I wished I could have given her more. These people are living in desperate
conditions. The last thing they should have to worry about is how they can afford a
present for their child this Christmas”.
The Toys and Teens Appeal 2023 will be collecting donated new and nearly new toys from donation drop off points, as well as using funds from the Go Fund Me online to buy gifts for children to open on Christmas day.
To support the campaign you can donate a gift to the drop off points. More details on what can be donated can be found here.
If you cannot donate a gift the campaign also has an online GoFundMe page to help buy new presents for age groups that receive less donations each year.
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