21 December 2016 - 9:36am
The Salvation Army and Heart FM Radio are ensuring thousands of children in Kent will wake up to presents on Christmas Day.
450 presents purchased by shoppers at Bluewater Shopping Centre have been handed over to The Salvation Army South East Division to distribute to families across the county.
The church and charity was chosen by Heart FM Radio as a beneficiary of its Giving Tree Appeal which encourages 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.
Val Mylechreest, Salvation Army Director of Family Ministries said: “During the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet.
“We are extremely grateful to Bluewater shoppers and Heart FM Radio for the generous toy donations. Our huge team of volunteers will now go out delivering your generous Christmas gifts to those who might otherwise go without.
“The Salvation Army and Giving Tree will ensure every child gets a present this year.”
Shoppers were invited to purchase a toy for a child aged nought to 17 years old and leave it at the Giving Tree in Bluewater Shopping Centre. The Salvation Army will now wrap the gifts, which will be distributed to children and families in the local area through The Salvation Army’s own networks, local groups and social services.
Gifts include anything from soft and educational toys for the very youngest child, to games, toys and accessories for older children and teenagers. A number of Salvation Army churches also run Christmas present and food box appeals.
The Salvation Army works throughout the year to provide compassionate support, a listening ear and practical help to people who are vulnerable or in need.