The Toys and Teens Appeal continues!
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.
The appeal hopes to be back to normal in future years so if you can hold onto those new and nearly new gifts they will be greatly appreciated then, but for this year the need for your support is as great (if not greater) than ever.
Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on families across the UK. The IPPR predicts the virus will plunge 1.1 million more people in the UK below the poverty line by the end of the year, including a further 200,000 children.  In the last two weeks of March, the number of households with children helped by the Trussell Trust’s food banks increased by 122% in the UK. Devastatingly, Covid-19 has plunged many more Reading families into poverty.
A woman who received toys for her children from the project last year wrote to the charity recently to say:
“This year has been a difficult year for everyone with many ups and downs. I started the year positive with a job (and happy). But then lockdown hit and I was yet again left unemployed. Depression settled in as I have struggled to find money to feed my three children, which is even harder than normal as I have been benefit capped and am £600 a month worse off than before. I'm taking one day at a time at the minute. I am hoping that Reading Family Aid will be able to help me again this year. Without the charity’s help, I would really struggle to make Christmas special for my children. Each year they continue to help less fortunate families, so thank you and please continue to give hope”.
But the Toys and Teens Appeal is here to help. Sponsored by The Reading Chronicle and organised by Reading Family Aid, the charity is raising funds this year to buy new presents to give to disadvantaged Reading families at Christmas time.
Your generosity has helped us to get gifts to families in need for 50 years and still has the power to make such a big impact on the Christmases of those we can reach. Last year the Office Manager of a local school, after receiving a delivery of toys for families in need, said:
“We were completely overwhelmed when the parcels were dropped off. Seeing the generosity of people and knowing the impact the gifts will make and the burden lifted off our families at this time of year brought tears to our eyes.
The looks of surprise, relief and thankfulness on the parents’ faces when they collected the toys for their children were overwhelming. Thank you.”
As well as donating, the charity would be incredibly grateful if you considered holding a fundraising event. You could organise a ‘mufti day’ at school or the office, a heroes and heroines day at your child’s nursery, print out our poster and stick it in your window 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.
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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