A Clydesdale-wide Christmas appeal to ensure that every child wakes up to a gift from Santa Claus and that struggling families have a hot festive meal has been launched for 2016.
Run annually by New Beginnings, a small charity set up to help the homeless back into accommodation, it has now issued its wish-list of what is needed to make Christmas happier for families in need.
Toys, food, goods, vouchers and cash can be handed in to the charity’s base, the Lodge, in Kilmory Road in Carluke now, and a depot will run at the Bridge Church in Lanark from December 1 until December 22.
Those depots will be open only from 10am until noon on Wednesdays and Fridays, so Tesco has stepped in to help, and donations can be left in a trolley in its stores in Carluke and Lanark.
On Christmas morning last year, 150 children in Clydesdale woke up to presents they might otherwise have missed out on, and 78 families sat down to Christmas dinner, thanks to new toys and hampers of festive food given to the charity. There were also 91 unexpected little gifts for parents and other individuals.
New Beginnings volunteers were overwhelmed with the response last year as people throughout Clydesdale took the appeal to their hearts, and they hope for the same support this year.
“People find themselves in financial difficulty for numerous reasons, and the children are the ones missing out at Christmas because of it,” said New Beginnings convener Mary McLellan. “Everything that is donated and money raised goes straight to the Christmas appeal.”
The appeal is for new toys, books, and other materials for children up to 12 years old, but volunteers are also needing presents for teenagers, such as toiletries, make-up, books or gift vouchers.
For the food boxes, they are looking for tins of soup, cooked meat, vegetables, fruit and custard and trimmings such as Christmas puddings, chocolate, nibbles, biscuits, soft drinks, and Christmas crackers and napkins.
Cash can be given direct, through a Mydonate page on the group’s website, www.newbeginnings.org.uk
“Christmas is the time for giving, and it is good to see people supporting such an important appeal at Christmas,” said Mary.