Toys are rolling in for the annual appeal, but there is a shortage of presents for girls aged five to 10 years and babies 0 to two.
The number of poor children requiring help continues to rise which means even more toys and gifts are needed for this year’s Christmas toy appeal.
The Clitheroe Advertiser and Times and the Ribble Valley branch of the Salvation Army have teamed up for the 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 almost a month ago and generous local people are donating toys and gifts, Capt. Elizabeth Smith, of the Salvation Army, said the number of deprived children on the waiting list continues to rise.
She said: "Toys are coming in. Well done to the Ribble Valley community for being so thoughtful and kind. You take our breath away with your generosity. There will be almost 400 very happy children on Christmas morning... and some very relieved parents. However, we are appealing for people to buy presents for girls aged five to 10 years and babies aged 0 to 2."
The premise of the appeal is that presents for any age of child 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. 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.
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 on 07709 351394 to submit names. A telephone number and address is required to arrange transport.”