The Christmas spirit is well and truly alive in Wales, as 10,037 gifts have been donated to the fifth annual St David’s Toy Appeal, bringing the total amount of toys donated since the appeal began to over 45,000.
Supporting over 25 incredible charities this year, the St David’s Toy Appeal ensures that no child in South Wales is left empty handed this Christmas, and thanks to the generosity of shoppers, the initiative has generated thousands of donations for charities across Wales that support ill, vulnerable and inspirational children in our communities.
Since the appeal’s launch on November 30th, charitable shoppers have been out in force, picking up an extra gift and dropping them off at the centre’s Donation Station. Lots of South Wales businesses also took part, swapping Secret Santa’s for fundraising to purchase toys to donate to the appeal.
James Waugh, General Manager for St David’s Cardiff, commented: “As we celebrated our fifth year of the Toy Appeal, we are always still so overwhelmed by how generous people are. Everyone who donates allow us to give gifts year after year to children across Wales who may not have the Christmas that we enjoy every year, so we would like to say a huge thanks to everyone that’s taken part.
“It’s been really wonderful to hear stories about individuals who have donated to the appeal, and for some generous donators, how the charities taking part have supported them in their time of need too. As well as those good Samaritans, we’ve also seen lots of local businesses and community groups coming together to help put smiles on the faces of families most in need this festive season. We want to thank everybody who donated, as your gift really will make a child’s Christmas.”
Commenting on the appeal, Stephen Price from Latch, said: “The donation of so many wonderful toys has an incredible impact on the seriously ill children supported here at the Children’s Hospital for Wales. So many families are worried about having to spend Christmas here at the Hospital, but the toy donations make everything so much better, providing the entire family with lifelong memories. To see their eyes light up, opening presents that will occupy them when they’re in isolation or on treatment is just extraordinary. We would like to extend sincere thanks to everyone who donated this year – you’ve helped to raise smiles when it really does matter the most.”
The weekend ahead of Christmas was particularly special for another charity supported by the appeal. Follow Your Dreams is a Cardiff based charity that supports children with learning disabilities, some with life-limiting medical or severe developmental conditions.
On the 22nd December, the charity held an event for all of the incredible families it supports, to give the children their gifts donated by the South Wales community, from none other than Father Christmas himself!
Diane Blackmore, Chief Executive from Follow Your Dreams, commented: “The donations really make Christmas for many of our families, who would otherwise struggle to provide such wonderful gifts for their little ones. To be able to hold a festive event to give out the toys is testament to the generosity of everybody who takes part, so I can’t thank you all enough.”