With thanks to Ian McLaren, PR account manager, Innes Associates
North-east children’s charity Cash for Kids has launched its annual Mission Christmas gift appeal, which this year is being supported by The Wood Foundation, Sir Ian Wood’s philanthropic charity.
Mission Christmas, the festive campaign of Aberdeen-based charity Cash for Kids, aims to ensure that all children in the north-east will wake up with presents to open on Christmas morning.
An estimated one in six children in Aberdeen City live in poverty, and many of their parents will struggle to afford to purchase presents for them this Christmas.
The appeal was officially launched this year by local philanthropist and trustee of The Wood Foundation, Garreth Wood, who sent a giant parcel off on the first leg of an enormous pass the parcel campaign, encouraging north-east residents to buy an extra gift or make a cash donation to the appeal this Christmas.
Last year, through the generosity of the north-east public, Cash for Kids distributed more than 14,000 gifts to 4,738 underprivileged children, ensuring they got to unwrap special parcels on Christmas morning. The total value of items donated was in excess of £210,000, with many businesses choosing to support the appeal.
Cash for Kids expects to receive a similar number of applications for presents this year. It will once again aim to ensure that every child brought to its attention – from new-borns to 18-year-olds – will receive a gift.
In order to fulfil all applications, Cash for Kids is asking members of the public to purchase an extra toy or gift for the appeal when doing their own Christmas shopping. Vouchers for shopping centres are also encouraged, particularly for teenagers who enjoy the freedom to choose a much longed for treat for themselves. Cash donations are also welcome, which the charity will then use to purchase items to fill any gaps.
This year, around 80 donation points – more than ever before – have been set up across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire where people can drop off a new, unwrapped gift until Friday, 18 December. The gifts will then be distributed to those in need in time for Christmas.
The demand for items, and the subsequent overwhelming response from the public, has led to Mission Christmas outgrowing its existing headquarters. A new larger distribution facility is this year being provided by Dunlop Oil and Maine. Local haulage firm Colin Lawson Transport will be providing the logistical support for a fifth year. This year, the firm is providing a dedicated vehicle and driver to collect the gifts from the donation points.
Michelle Ferguson, Cash for Kids charity manager, said:
“The response every year from north-east residents to the Mission Christmas appeal is incredible. Without their support and that of our volunteers it wouldn’t be possible to achieve what we do. We anticipate demand for gifts to again be high this year as a result of the local economic climate, so will be doing all we can to ensure that demand is met.
“Last year we received donations through some very creative means, including one from a 12-year-old girl who had saved up 50 prizes she had won throughout the year at Codona’s and donated them to the appeal. Some people also redeem their store card points or use three for two offers to purchase items at little or no cost.
“For those looking to raise money to support the appeal, we are running a Christmas jumper day on Friday, 11 December. It’s a fun festive way to get involved in Mission Christmas.”
Sir Ian Wood, chairman of The Wood Foundation, said:
“To know that there are children, right now, living in the North-East of Scotland who may not experience the excitement of receiving a special gift on Christmas morning is incredibly sad. In Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire, poverty is often not as apparent as in other parts of Scotland, with the result it often goes unrecognised and unaddressed.
By supporting the work Cash for Kids do with the Mission Christmas appeal, The Wood Foundation hopes that every child across the North-East will feel the magic of Christmas this year.”
More information on the appeal, including a full list of donation points and information on the Christmas jumper day, can be found at www.northsound1.com/missionchristmas.
Cash for Kids
Cash for Kids is Northsound Radio’s listeners’ charity. It makes grants to individuals, families, children’s groups, organisations and projects throughout the Northsound transmission area. All money is raised locally and spent locally to benefit local disabled and disadvantaged children and young people under 18. More information on Cash for Kids can be found at www.northsound1.com/charity, or telephone 01224 337010.
The Wood Foundation
The Wood Foundation is a proactive venture philanthropy funder, focusing on creating economic activity to help people help themselves, providing business development and capacity support, in addition to funding. The team is located in East Africa and in Scotland.
The Wood Foundation, Scottish Registered Charity No. SCO37957, was established in March 2007 by Sir Ian Wood and his immediate family. The Wood Foundation invests into three portfolios of activity: Making Markets Work for the Poor – Sub Sahara Africa, Facilitating Economic & Education Development in Scotland, and Developing Young People in Scotland.
The Executive Chairman of The Wood Foundation is Sir Ian Wood and The Trustees are: Sir Ian Wood, Lady Helen Wood, Garreth Wood and Graham Good. For further information please visit: www.thewoodfoundation.org.uk.
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