At this time of year I get a little bit overwhemed with the generosity of people. Year on year we have have been able to give Christmas presents to more and more children. This year we have already wrapped over 200 presents and my list is getting longer and longer as the days go by. We are able to support the local refuge, local schools, Children’s Centres and family workers with lovely gifts for the children who are living in very difficult circumstances at this time of year.
There’s a mum with three small children living in one room of a grotty flat, there’s a family with five children struggling to cope long term illness, there’s a young mum just moving out of foster care into independant living, there’s a mum and her children escaping domestic violence and many many more. At Ivy Street we see a small number of these families coming to to get help from Growbaby and our play sessions, but via our links with local services and schools we are able to give away hundreds of donated toys, books and games to children who really do need a bit of festive cheer.
This year we have had donations from: Croxley Green Baptist Church, the ELBA Toy Appeal and Stokey Parents group. I haven’t quite totted up the total number of gifts, but it’s looking like it’ll be around 400! Amazing!
The though of wrapping all those gifts is enough to send anyone into a spin, but we had a wonderful team of volunteers from Credit Suisse, who, with stereotypical Swiss efficiency, wrapped and packed over 200 toys, books and games in under 3 hours! More volunteers from Credit Suisse returned the following week to help with our party. 34 toddlers and their grown-ups in one room for three hours is not to be sneezed at, but they joined in and we all had a great time.
Happy Christmas to you all and thanks for thinking of others at this time of year.