A local church and charity is ensuring some 150 children from Hemel Hempstead will wake up to presents on Christmas Day.
Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army on Waterhouse Street is encouraging people to add an extra toy to their shopping list so that families struggling to buy a gift for their children can make sure there is a small surprise under their Christmas tree this year.
Church leader Captain Marie Burr said: “During the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet.
“Our team of volunteers will be out delivering your generous Christmas gifts to those who might otherwise go without.
“The Christmas Story inspires us as a church to reach out to those in need, so we’re running the Christmas Present Appeal to ensure every child gets a present.”
People are invited to drop a new, unused gift for a newborn and children up to 16 years old to the Salvation Army Church at Waterhouse Street, HP1 1ES and the Salvation Army shop and Superdrug, both in the Marlowes from 18th November 16 to 18th December 2016. The Salvation Army will then wrap the gifts, which will be distributed to children and families in the area through The Salvation Army’s own local groups and social services.
Gifts can include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys and accessories for older children.
Captain Marie Burr said: “Last year we delivered around 150 presents to families in need. It’s wonderful to see children’s faces light up when they open their Christmas presents. If you have children, grandchildren, or children you support, think of what they might like in their Christmas stocking and consider buying an extra present and donating it. We’re asking for brand-new toys or gifts so the families we support feel extra special.”
Captain Marie Burr continued: “We are grateful for all donations we receive, but food items and used products are not appropriate for this appeal.”
Captain Marie Burr is also asking the community for donations of new sleeping bags for people who are experiencing homelessness. The Salvation Army at Hemel Hempstead offers a drop-in service for people experiencing homelessness Monday to Friday 9.30am – 12.30pm where people can come in and wash, have hot drinks and a snack. New sleeping bags can be donated directly to the Salvation Army Church hall on Waterhouse Street.
In addition, The Salvation Army is holding two services for their annual Civic Carol Service on 11 December at 2.30pm and 5.30pm. The service is being held at The Salvation Army Church hall with a band and songsters (choir) and school children from the local community. Captain Marie Burr said: “It promises to be a great Christmas festive occasion and we’d love to see you there.”
Members of the public can buy tickets (£4 per person, £3 with concessions) at the Salvation Army Church Hall, in the Community café. Half of all the proceeds of ticket sales will go to the local Salvation Army and the other half to the Mayor’s charity. Some of the funds for the Salvation Army will go to the drop-in service for people experiencing homelessness.
For more information about the Christmas Present Appeal, please contact Captain Marie Burr, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01442 253607