The Family Appeal, which is aimed at making Christmas brighter for thousands of children and families in need across Northern Ireland, is in full swing.
Organisers The Society of St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army are urging members of the public and businesses to support the initiative by picking up an extra gift during their Christmas shopping.
And leading retailer Tesco has agreed once again to back the appeal, which is now in its 35th year.
Toys can be left in any branch of Tesco throughout Northern Ireland up until Wednesday 17th December.
Caoimhe Mannion, Marketing Manager for Tesco NI, said: “We have been supporting the Family Appeal for more than 15 years and we are delighted to be backing it again.
“Our customers have been very generous over the years and I’ve no doubt they will once more help to ensure that no child goes without a gift at Christmas. The appeal really does make a huge difference at what should be a festive time for all.”
Last year’s appeal distributed more than 30,000 gifts to children across Northern Ireland – all of which was made possible by the generosity of local people and organisations. Both SVP and the Salvation Army expect requests for assistance from this year’s appeal will again be high, reflecting the financial difficulties facing many families at this time.
All gifts must be new and unwrapped and suitable for children and young people – from tiny tots to teenagers. Family gifts of board games and tins of sweets or biscuits are always welcome. Teenagers can often appreciate gift tokens, CDs and toiletries. A full list of collection points is available on www.svp.ie or www.salvationarmy.org.uk.
If you feel you are eligible for support from the Family Appeal contact your local social worker, health visitor or one of the charities for guidance notes and an application form.