Reading Family Aid’s Toys & Teens appeal is back for another year, sponsored by The Chronicle. This year the appeal is accepting new and nearly new toys at over 30 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.
We spoke to Clare Deakin-Smith, the Club Experience Manager at The Club at Mapledurham, about why they have chosen to support Reading Family Aid’s Toys and Teens Appeal for 2023.
“We’re a very family-oriented club. Children are a very important aspect to the whole club, including the restaurant, the swimming pool, and the outside areas. And there’s nothing nicer than a happy child! I’ve got four, they’ve all grown up and left home, but I know what it’s like to have happy children.”
“I have always instilled in all my children that you have to look at people that aren’t as fortunate. And to be able to support that here, and just get everybody to open their eyes and their minds a little bit and go, ‘let’s help’. And it doesn’t take a lot as well. Because nobody’s asking for big boxes of £50 Lego or anything. It’s just things that young people will take a huge amount of pleasure in opening – everyone loves to open presents.”
“I think as much help as anybody can help, with just giving little things at Christmas, it makes a huge difference just to put a smile on a child’s face, or a young adult’s face as well. Very important, because it is formative memories that they will carry through.”
“It’s just about making people feel good about themselves, and just doing a little something, for a little person. And whether that person is 16 or 5, anything that we can do to help, or anything that other businesses can do to help, by contacting the people that use their business, it’s perfect.”
If you’re a member, or live near to The Club at Mapledurham, do stop by and leave your donation on the table at reception.
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 3,000 children received a gift at Christmas, through the generous donations of supporters.
To support the campaign you can donate a gift to the drop off points here. 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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