Reading Family Aid’s Toys & Teens Appeal launches today, sponsored by The Chronicle. This year the appeal is back to normal, accepting new and nearly new toys at 28 donation points across Reading and the surrounding areas. These toys and gifts will be organised by hundreds of volunteers and distributed to under-privileged children in Reading and the surrounding area, ready for Christmas day.
Sadly, this year is set to be one of the busiest for the appeal, as more families than ever before have reached out for help this Christmas. According to The Times 1.3 million Britons will be plunged into poverty due to the cost-of-living crisis. With rising energy bills, more families are becoming reliant on food banks and will have to make the difficult decision not to heat their homes this winter.
But the Toys and Teens Appeal hopes to bring a little joy to their lives this Christmas. Sponsored by The Chronicle and organised by Reading Family Aid, the charity is raising funds this year to buy new or nearly new presents suitable for ages 0 – 16, to give to disadvantaged Reading families at Christmas time.
The project was launched today by the Mayor of Reading, Councillor Rachel Eden, who said: “I’m really proud to be launching this appeal, this year it’s more important than ever. I was recently contacted by people too frightened to top up their prepayment meter because they could see the numbers ticking down when they boiled a kettle. I used to meet with families who had to choose week in week out between a weekly shop and turning the heating on. But incredibly sadly I’m now meeting families that can’t afford to do either. It’s wrong we’re in this situation but that is the reality. What I do know is that Reading is a community that steps up. We want to stand with our neighbours and make sure no one faces a Christmas that is miserable. A present is only one aspect, but it can make such a difference to children and their families”. See her full video below.
Each Christmas, the Toys and Teens Appeal helps ensure that children who would not otherwise receive a single present, have something to open on Christmas morning. Last year, over 2,500 children received a gift at Christmas, through the generous donations of supporters.
Please, if you can spare it, donate a present to the appeal this year, and drop it off at any of the 28 donation points. Visit the charity’s Toy Donations page for details of how to donate toys and to find out what can (and can't) be used. Or if you can’t access a donation point, please consider donating to the charity’s GoFundMe appeal. The money raised buys new presents for age groups that aren’t provided for.
Please help us to make Christmas joyful for families in desperate need this year. Thank you.
This is where we share our news and inspiring stories of how people have supported us.
Read previous newsletters here.