Magnificent response to the 2016 Christmas Toy Appeal

Captain Elizabeth Smith of the Salvation Army with Tesco staff and some of the shoe boxes donated to the Toy Appeal. (s)
Captain Elizabeth Smith of the Salvation Army with Tesco staff and some of the shoe boxes donated to the Toy Appeal. (s)

The Salvation Army and Clitheroe Advertiser and Times 2016 Toy Appeal reached a massive crescendo during it’s final week.

The generosity of the wonderful people of the Ribble Valley has once again been proven, with more than 450 families whose children and teenagers would otherwise have gone without presents, now about to receive their gifts in time for the big day.

Along with the kindness of individuals who have donated all manner of toys and gifts for tiny babies right through to older teenagers, this year has also seen many gestures of goodwill and kindness from local businesses, large and small, looking to make Christmas special for local families.

Staff at the Clitheroe branch of Tesco presented the appeal with shoe boxes full of smaller items to delight and entertain little ones on Christmas morning.

The staff were looking for a way to help local children and decided on shoe boxes filled with gifts for every age.

Brookside Primary School joined the project, and presented the Toy Appeal with two heaving trolleys of filled boxes.

A Tesco spokesperson said: “We were amazed when we saw just how many boxes had been filled. We can imagine the excitement as children dip into their boxes of treasures.”

Clitheroe Town Mayor Coun. Mark French was also keen to help the 2016 appeal, after learning how many children in the borough were facing a bleak Christmas due to financial hardship. He encouraged other councillors to get involved and invited Captain Elizabeth Smith and Envoy Brenda Wise from the Ribble Valley branch of the Salvation Army to receive the toys at the Town Hall.

Helen Lord, of Lulu’s Bridal Boutique in Whalley also decided to get involved and quickly spread the word on social media, which brought a huge response. Along with the toys, she also donated three large boxes of new books for all ages – a very welcome and much-needed addition to the donations bank.

With another brilliant appeal drawing to a close, Captain Smith said: “This year’s Toy Appeal has been awesome.

“We have had an increase of 45% on last year’s donations. Thanks to our generous and compassionate community, every child on our list, without exception, will have a better Christmas.”