IT’S that time of year again ... and we are once again calling on the generosity of Gazette readers to help put a smile on the face of a youngster at Christmas.
For today we launch our Toys & Tins appeal for 2012, which will this year benefit five deserving groups in South Tyneside.
And to help ensure those less fortunate than ourselves enjoy a fantastic festive season, supermarket giant Asda has come on board to help.
This year’s beneficiaries include domestic violence charities South Tyneside Women’s Aid and Options. Henderson Road children’s home in Simonside is also set to benefit.
Meanwhile, food parcels will be made up from donated goods and handed over to the Mission To Seafarers in South Shields, and South Tyneside food bank Hospitality and Hope.
Kind-hearted readers can leave their donations at our office in Chapter Row, South Shields, while Asda customers wanting to spread a little festive cheer can leave their gifts in special trolleys inside Asda stores in South Shields and Boldon.
Boldon Asda’s community life champion Tracey Tough said: “What is good about this appeal is everything donated goes to those within our local community who need it.
“Whenever we have held a collection for Christmas, it never fails to astound me how generous the people of South Tyneside are.”
South Shields Asda’s community life champion, Mavis Maughan, said: “An appeal like this really shows community spirit at its best, and that it hasn’t gone away.
“By being able to help someone this Christmas, it does make people feel good about themselves.”
Over the years, Gazette readers have never disappointed with their generosity, with mountains of toys and tins handed in to our office.
And we hope this year will be no exception.
South Tyneside’s Women’s Aid Refuge, run by Places for People, offers help and support, as well as providing safe, temporary and emergency accommodation to women and children suffering from domestic violence.
Options offers help, advice and support to women who have or who are suffering domestic abuse.
Meanwhile, Henderson Road children’s home cares for up to six teenagers who are unable to live at home.
The Mission to Seafarers, formerly called The Missions to Seamen, is a missionary society of the Anglican Church which cares for the spiritual and practical welfare of all seafarers.
Finally, Hospitality and Hope run a food bank and provide emergency food parcels to vulnerable and needy people in South Tyneside.
* We ask that you leave toys unwrapped and that food should be in tins and packets, such as soup, rice, pasta and puddings, rather than fresh produce. Toiletries are also welcome.