A Christmas appeal to help families whose children would otherwise not receive a gift is being run once again by the Ramsgate Salvation Army.
The Christmas present appeal was officially launched by Ramsgate mayor Cllr Pat Moore this week.
It is the second year that the Ramsgate branch has made a present appeal specifically aimed at helping families due to the organisation seeing demand for help rise in the face of the cost of living crisis.
Commanding Officer Captain Carl Whitewood said: “There is much less money available and we are seeing even more people come to us in general for help. There will be many needing help with the cost of Christmas.”
Last year more than 350 local children received gifts thanks to the kindness of the people of Thanet. The Salvation Army introduced a system of tables with price related items and families were able to choose a set number from each to make sure gifts are fairly distributed and gave families the dignity of choosing presents to suit their children.
Carl said: “We are doing that again, presents will be laid out on the tables abd people can choose gifts that are appropriate for their child and we will provide paper and tape so they can wrap them at home.
“It worked really well last year. The incredible thing was we would have a large amount of toys, parents would come in and then there would be nothing left and then, miraculously, someone would arrive with more or an Amazon wish list delivery would turn up.”
How to help
Support the Christmas Present Appeal by donating new, unwrapped toys and gifts.
The gifts can be taken to Ramsgate Salvation Army 167 High Street Ramsgate CT11 9TT or to local collection points in Sainsburys or Ramsgate Garden Centre.
Presents can also be bought using the Amazon gift list and Amazon will deliver to the Salvation Army. Find the list at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/registries/gl/guest-view/2H9390F6RTMIW?ref=cm_sw_em_r_gr_un_bJGn53XGqZ0f2
Toy drive and family fun day
There is also a toy drive event being held at the Royal Oak Hotel at Ramsgate harbour this Sunday (November 26).
Co-organiser Ali said: “We are holding a toy drive for the Salvation Army to thank them for looking after a family friend who has passed away. He lost his battle with addictions a couple of weeks ago and his children are keen to turn a negative into a positive. After speaking with the Salvation Army they mentioned that last year they helped more than 300 families with gifts for their children.
“This seemed like the perfect way to try and help them. We have some amazing people coming along to sing and we have an elf on a shelf mascot.”
The family fun day and toy drive includes live entertainment, free face painting and festive stalls and the QRA Corps of Drums and will run from noon to 4pm
Carl Whitewood said: “We are really grateful. Because we were able to be there (for the gentleman who passed away) they wanted to help out. It is a beautiful thing to do to help families who are struggling.”