Some people never have an easy year, but 2020 has been particularly hard, especially for vulnerable people and families living barely above the breadline. As much as parents would like to make their children feel special over the holidays, filling Christmas stockings is impossible. This is where The Salvation Army steps in, with its Big Toy Appeal, which is carried out with its partner, The Entertainer, the UK’s largest high street toy retailer.
Over the past two years, the appeal has delivered almost 60,000 toys and books to children in need. With a little extra help from online options, it’s hoped the appeal will reach even more children so that Christmas retains some of its magic.
The resurgence in Covid-19 has resulted in tighter lockdown restrictions being implemented in certain areas in the UK. People simply aren’t allowed to visit toys stores to purchase gifts, nor can they visit their nearest Salvation Army church to drop off the presents. To circumvent this obstacle, shoppers purchasing from the Entertainer’s two websites, The Toy Shop and Early Learning Centre, were able to donate a toy by adding £5 to their basket.
The Entertainer also undertook to donate one toy for every toy donated by shoppers.
The Salvation Army extends its reach to hundreds more people in need
The devastating effects of Covid have resulted in job losses, furloughing, and escalating unemployment. Not only are more people coming to The Salvation Army for assistance from food banks, but the charity is also supporting more people who can’t leave their homes due to self-isolation, delivering hot meals and other food. For these people, a merry Christmas would be a pipe dream if not for the toys donated to ensure they have something to celebrate.
Commenting on the situation, Tony Daniels, Director of Community Services for The Salvation Army, said, “The pandemic has brought some extremely difficult situations for families throughout this year. Christmas always brings extra demands on family budgets, but this year we’re anticipating it will be even more difficult for many. The Big Toy Appeal allows us, with The Entertainer, to bring Christmas joy to families who need it the most right now.”
Gary Grant, Founder and Executive Chairman at The Entertainer added, “We are so grateful for the generosity of our customers. Each year, our Big Toy Appeal supports an ever-increasing number of families. The financial difficulties we are facing this year will mean overwhelming difficulties for families trying to give their children a joyful and magical Christmas. Every child deserves to know they are special and the Big Toy Appeal is an opportunity for us to work together to help families celebrate the wonder of Christmas.”