A team of young football stars from West Ham visited The Salvation Army’s London-based headquarters yesterday (14 December) with a bundle of brand new gift items for the annual Christmas present appeal.
This is the second year in a row that players from West Ham United’s Academy have come to deliver dozens of donated gifts to the church and charity. Donations from players and staff will be distributed by The Salvation Army to children in London who might otherwise not receive a single gift.
There to receive the donated gifts was Poplar Salvation Army officer, Major David Brown. He has been co-ordinating the Christmas present appeal for the whole of Tower Hamlets working in conjunction with local Salvation Army centres in Stepney and Stratford. He said:
"We will be giving gifts to 380 children this Christmas. Most of the gifts donated by West Ham will be going to a women's refuge. Some of the children wouldn't have got a present at all at Christmas if it wasn't for these donations. It is important for every child to be included in the joy of Christmas."
West Ham player Dan Kemp, 17, from Bexley said: "We are young men who are role models and so it is important to show how we are looking out for kids who are less fortunate in London. Young kids who like watching football might see what we’re doing, and hopefully in the future will be encouraged to look out for other people, too."
Another player Joshua Pask, 19, from Manor Park said: "It is important to give back to people who don't have as much as we do."
Commissioner Clive Adams, head of The Salvation Army in the UK and Republic of Ireland, was there to thank the young West Ham players. He said: "It is great to be able to see all these gifts that these young people have donated to children who might otherwise not get a gift this Christmas. It is a wonderfully positive story of young people doing something good."
The Salvation Army’s Christmas present appeal takes place across the country and ensures thousands of children in the UK will wake up to presents on Christmas Day.
For more information about the Christmas present appeal or ways to donate to The Salvation Army, please contact your nearest participating Salvation Army church or centre by finding them on the website (www.salvationarmy.org.uk).