The help of generous Ribble Valley folk is needed urgently to ensure under-privileged children in the rural borough have a toy or gift to open on Christmas Day.
As reported last week, The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times and the Ribble Valley branch of the Salvation Army have once again teamed up to launch their annual appeal to help families and children who might otherwise go without this Christmas. For the 16th year running, the generosity of Valley residents is once again being called upon to help families less fortunate than themselves.
Although the toy appeal was launched only a week ago, Captain Elizabeth Smith of the Salvation Army said she already has 308 names of children on the waiting list and the figure is set to rise. She has stressed the public steps in to help and donates toys.
She explained: "Our list already runs to 308 children, mainly from agencies. This figure will rise over the next few weeks, but we are confident the community will meet the need. Toys are coming in slowly and I don't doubt that we will receive everything we need as Christmas draws near."
The premise of the appeal is that presents for any age of child or teenager can be donated, as long as they are new. The items will be distributed to families across the Ribble Valley, with the aim that each child receives a main gift, a craft item or game, a soft toy and a book. The most difficult age groups to cater for are the 12 to 16-year-old boys and girls. It helps to imagine a child you know and think what would be a suitable gift for that child. We also need selection boxes."
Toys and donations can be dropped off at the Skipton Building Society in Market Place, Clitheroe, or at the new Salvation Army charity shop building (the former job centre site) on Lowergate in the town from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 3pm.
She added: "Thank you to all who will donate. Your gifts will make a difference to a child's happiness this Christmas."
Captain Elizabeth is also reminding people – of all ages – about the Christmas Day lunch.
She said: "We will be holding a lunch for people any age who may find Christmas a lonely time. This invitation is open to anyone, old or young male or female, single mums with children. If Christmas Day is a hard to get through, come and join us for good food, a friendly atmosphere, some entertainment, and a goody bag to take home. We open at 11-30am and finish around 3pm. Please ring Elizabeth 07709 351394 to submit names. A telephone number and address is required to arrange transport."