Today sees the launch of our annual toy appeal and once again we have teamed up with North East charity Hope 4 Kidz in the hope of making Christmas Day just a little bit more special for the many disadvantaged and special needs children in our area.
Last year, thanks to your generosity, more than 3,500 children woke up to a special gift and we hope that you will again help us to raise a smile on a child’s face this Christmas.
Gifts were delivered to hospitals, women’s refuges and special needs units around the borough in time for the big day.
We are appealing for gifts suitable not just for young children but also young adults, who are often forgotten. Donations, such as toys, clothing, smellies and chocolates would be welcome. Gifts must be new and can be left at one of our many designated collection points.
Gavin Foster, Managing Editor of the Shields Gazette, said: “Every year our readers have astounded us with their generosity and we hope that this year will be no exception. We appreciate how difficult times are for many families and thank you all for the wonderful way in which you respond to our appeal.”
Hope 4 Kidz, which helps children and young people across the region, will also be hosting its annual Santa’s Christmas party at Illusion nightclub, Sunderland, on Sunday, December 4, and is appealing for selection boxes to give the young guests.
Last year more than 400 children attended and had a whale of time meeting The Super Heroes, balloon artist, playing games and dancing as well as meeting the big man himself, Santa. This year more than 450 guests are expected at this free event.
The party is an opportunity for children, many of whom are suffering from long term illnesses, disability, abuse and poverty, to feel special and forget their problems.
Viv Watts, of Hope 4 Kidz, said: “It is fantastic to see the children and their families enjoy their time at Santa’s Christmas party because it gives them a chance to escape the stresses and strains of their everyday life and have fun with other youngsters in a similar situation.”
Any children wishing to go to the party should contact Hope 4 Kidz on 0191 5347788/07818023081 for details and eligibility
Anyone wishing to donate a selection box or toy can do so at one of our designated collections points: Morrisons in Ocean Road; Santander, King Street and D & H Windows, Tudor Road, by Monday, December 19.
To support the funds needed for the party Hope 4 Kidz is holding its annual Candlelit Christmas Ball in aid of Little Angels on Friday, November 25, at Lumley Castle. The tickets are £52.50, which includes a four-course meal, live entertainment from the international award-winning singer Karen Kennedy, disco with raffles and auctions. A table gift is included in the ticket price.
Little Angels is what the charity refers to the children who benefit from the appeal, not just at Christmas time but throughout the year.
If you wish to attend, contact Hope 4 Kidz.
Our thanks go once again to all those who support our appeal and, of course, our designated collection points.
The appeal has already received a request to supply more than 500 gifts to various charities. If any charities or organisations who deal with children and young people would like to put in a request for gift, please contact the Hope 4 Kidz.