Thousands of children in South Yorkshire were at risk of waking without a Christmas gift tomorrow – but they will thanks to YOU!
It’s mission accomplished after a record-breaking year for The Star-backed Hallam FM and Magic AM Cash For Kids Mission Christmas appeal, writes Graham Walker.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our video report.
Generous readers and radio listeners have donated presents – from baby items to teenage gifts – to put smiles on the faces of 15,257 needy children.
That’s the growing shock number of youngsters, aged up to 18, who have been referred for gifts this year by social services and other official children’s organisations, including Barnardo’s, Sheffield Women’s Aid and refuges.
Charity chiefs are calculating the total value of present and cash donations but it is expect to have topped last year’s record-setting £610,000, which helped 14,300 of South Yorkshire’s most deprived children – up from 13,159 the previous year.
With the economic downturn and more families living on the poverty line, more requests for gifts flooded in this year, said Louise Davies, the Cash For Kids Charity Manager.
Yet more people, businesses and organisations rose to the challenge, with 200 drop-off points, including The Star shop in York Street, and 210 business supporters.
Louise said: “Mission Christmas is mission accomplished! We’ve had our biggest year so far – so a big well done to everyone.
“It’s quite shocking that one in five children in our region live below the poverty line. It’s harrowing.
“Our mission was to ensure no child in South Yorkshire was at risk of waking up on Christmas morning to nothing. And with lots of help, we’ve done it.
“A special thanks to Star readers. We are so grateful for all your money donations and gifts.”
Big John @Breakfast radio presenter John Harrison, the public face of the appeal, added: “Thank you so much to everybody involved. To all the volunteers, everybody at our Cash For Kids Charity and all our sponsors. But most of all thank you for giving.
“We are massively overwhelmed. We’ve smashed it. Incredible.”
The Star was media partner for Mission Christmas, which was also in partnership with primary sponsor The Moor Market and supported by Best Solicitors, The Priory shopping centre in Worksop, Warburtons signs, Reeds Rains, Highwoods Primary School, Insured Health, Cresco Industrial Supplies Ltd, Hope City Church, Meganursery, Bupa Dental Centre, D’Michael’s, Crystal Peaks and FrenchGate.