The Salvation Army in Southport is calling on the community to donate new toys to its Christmas Present Appeal that will support families in need over the festive season.
As the cost of living crisis rages on, The Salvation Army, located on Shakespeare Street, is ensuring that no child in the town will wake up without a present on Christmas Day.
As more families are being pushed into poverty amid the cost of living crisis, the church and charity is encouraging the community to add an extra toy to their shopping list so that families struggling to buy a gift for their children can ensure there is something for them to open on Christmas Day.
Last year The Salvation Army in Southport’s annual Christmas Present Appeal supported 200 families which included 488 children that received present parcels and as more families are being pushed into poverty amid the cost of living crisis, this year demand is expected to surpass that figure.
The Christmas Present Appeal runs until Friday, December 5, with a request for new, unwrapped toys and gifts to be dropped at the church and community centre (corps) within the town as well as local supermarkets Asda, Morrisons and Tesco.
Captain Alison Hutchings, church leader for The Salvation Army in Southport, said: “Christmas is usually a time of joy but with the ongoing cost of living crisis and adding to that the continued rise in the prices of energy, we’re already seeing an increase on numbers from this time last year as the hardest hit members of our community continue to struggle to make ends meet.
“We have no doubt that the need this year for support will be greater than we have seen before and in the challenging times that people are facing, there will certainly be people that will struggle this Christmas.
“Donating a gift will go a long way to making a child’s Christmas that little bit brighter and allows us as an organisation to support those that are most in need.
“No parent wants their child to go without on Christmas Day but for many this will be the reality and everyone working together to support our community is what the Christmas story inspires us to do.”
This year The Salvation Army has once again teamed up with national toy retailer The Entertainer and for every gift donated, The Entertainer will also contribute a toy, doubling the number of donations that will go towards families in need of support this Christmas.
Gifts should be appropriate for children and young people, aged 0 to 17 years old. The Salvation Army will then sort and distribute the gifts to children and families in the area through its own networks, local charities, schools and social services.