The Mayor of Reading, Councillor David Stevens, is supporting a local charity’s Christmas Toy appeal this year. Reading Family Aid are fundraising to buy presents for underprivileged 0-16 year olds living in Reading and the surrounding areas.
Cllr. Stevens said “Covid has had quite a dramatic effect. In Reading we know that people are struggling. They’re losing jobs and unable to work. We’re seeing people more reliant on food banks, needing support from council services. Families are those people who are suffering most and that’s why we need to help them in any way we can. We really do need your help this year. It’s a bigger ask than every other year. Anything you can give is much appreciated. Please do donate, thank you very much”.
The Christmas Toys and Teens Appeal, organised by Reading Family Aid, will be slightly different this year due to the pandemic. In order to protect volunteers, and supporters, the charity has decided not to open up donation points this year. In its place, the charity has set up a fundraising page and is asking you to donate money instead of gifts. This money will then be used to buy new Christmas presents for disadvantaged children in Reading, which will be delivered directly to the organisations that help them.
Charlotte Morgan is Head of Campus at Reading College. The College helps to distribute toys from the charity’s Christmas appeal to children in need. She said “Some of our students who receive presents live in supported living and may be alone on Christmas Day. We have had a number of students that look forward to this present all year round, as this is their one opportunity to feel treated”.
When asked about the impact of Covid-19 on her students, Charlotte said “There has been a huge increase in financial hardship and homelessness this year [due to Corona virus] which has increased levels of worry in students. Many students often feel lonely and isolated at Christmas and the current situation has exacerbated this in many cases. This year’s gift appeal will be more important than ever for this reason”.
“Something small to you, such as the price of a coffee or two in a café, can have such a huge impact on somebody and how they feel in themselves. The pandemic has reminded us all of the importance of looking out for one another and being supportive where we can, and this project embodies that completely”.
Given the significant financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many, we are expecting more children than ever before to need your help. As well as donating, the charity would be incredibly grateful if you considered holding a fundraising event.You could organise a ‘dress up day’ at school or the office, dust off your black tie and party frocks, a pyjama day for your ‘Zoom’ meetings, or share our crowdfunding page on your social media. Anything you can give, no matter how small will make a huge difference to these families at Christmas time. Thank you.
We’d also like to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors: Berkshire Freemasons, Big Yellow and Caversham Vehicle Hire.
Our fundraising page will remain open until 4th December, at which point the fund will be used to buy presents that will be sent directly to organisations and distributed to underprivileged children across Reading. We’d also like to give a big thank you to our sponsors: Berkshire Freemasons, Big Yellow, Caversham Vehicle Hire.
To donate, please visit our Go Fund Me crowdfunding page.
You can also print out a poster here.
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