A Liverpool charity has had its most successful year to date by making Christmas happen for over 17,000 children.
Mission Christmas 2012 distributed over £280,000 worth of toys to children who, without their help, would have gone without at Christmas.
The appeal, which is run by Radio City’s Cash for Kids charity and was previously called the Toy Appeal, has been running for 15 years but has never seen such high figures.
Speaking to JMU Journalism, Cash for Kids fundraiser Katie Harrison said she was delighted with the public’s generosity: “The general public were once again extremely generous!
“We had lots of books, colouring books and art material. Dolls and push chairs and cars and board games were also a popular choice this year.
“This year saw a large increase in applications that we received for gifts and thankfully we received more gifts so we were able to fulfil the majority of requests that we received.
“Every year we do struggle with certain age ranges from 0-2 years old and from 14-18 years old.
“Thankfully we also received cash donations to Mission Christmas which enabled us to go directly to suppliers and purchase gifts for these age groups so that we could fulfil requests.”
The charity teamed up with the City of Liverpool Lions Club, who also runs a toy appeal, to reduce the amount of duplicate entries and to prevent organisations receiving double the amount of gifts from the two appeals whilst others received nothing. This meant that more children had gifts this year.
As well as providing toys to underprivileged youngsters, the charity also held Christmas parties at two hotels in Liverpool where children from women’s refuges were treated to a visit from Santa, who greeted them with presents.
Katie Harrison told JMU Journalism of one family in particular who benefited from the appeal: “One family had hit extremely hard times and the children were living with their grandmother.
“It was also the little boy’s birthday on Christmas day so not only were we able to brighten up his Christmas, but his birthday too.”
She added: “The children are extremely grateful and it is very moving to see their reaction.
“We are absolutely delighted with the high numbers this year and we hope that the success and generosity of people across Merseyside will continue with our fundraising efforts throughout the year, as these children need our help all year round, not just at Christmas time.”