I have been writing a lot about Christmas this past week. It's hard not to. I love Christmas. I enjoy the time sent with my family. It is so much fun finding amazing presents that will make my children shout with excitement. And then there's decorating the house and the Christmas tree whilst listening to festive tunes. And of course we will be filling our tummies with prosecco and turkey. It all makes me feel so happy and so very grateful.
But there are so many people who will be struggling to feed their families this Christmas. There will be many children in the UK, and across the world, who won't have any gifts waiting for them on Christmas morning. No, we can't help everyone. But Christmas is about giving. So for the past two years my family and I have been donating toys to children in the UK.
Our kids do not receive extravagant gifts from Father Christmas. They each get one gift and the money saved goes to one or two gifts for children who otherwise wouldn't receive anything. So, while you are doing your Christmas shopping, pick up something extra to donate. Or maybe you have a box of spare birthday gifts, grab one of those and donate. It won't make a difference to you, but it could make a big difference to someone else.
If you would like to donate a gift to a child in need this Christmas, the Salvation Army is running a Christmas Present Appeal until the 14th December. Bring in a new, unwrapped toy to your nearest Salvation Army drop-off centre.
- 0-3 years: dolls, teddy bears, cot mobiles, baby clothes, bath toys, CDs of suitable music and nursery rhymes, puzzles
- 3-5: dolls and action figures, cars, lorries, DVDs and CDs (music and nursery rhymes), colouring sets, pencils, crayons, books, puzzles
- 5-9: educational games & toys, stationery (colouring sets, pencils, crayons, school sets), CDs & family friendly DVDs, books, puzzles, wordsearch, crosswords
- 9-12: games and toys, stationery, CDs, DVDs, books, T-Shirts, hair accessories, gloves, scarves, hats
- 13-16: CDs, DVDs, books, make-up and toiletries (please try to ensure non-allergic ingredients if possible), gloves, scarves, hats, T-Shirts, hair accessories
Here are some South London drop-off points, if you'd like to donate. But please check the Salvation Army's website for details of drop-off points all over the UK and Ireland.
Raynes Park Corps
496 Kingston Road
109 Kingston Road
9 Ram Street Wandsworth
105 Lomond Grove
SE5 7HG Camberwell
58 Westow Street
Bromley Temple Corps
Croydon Temple Corps
Booth Road Lower Church Street
CR0 1XY Croydon
Merry Christmas! xx