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Collecting gifts for children with the Salvation Army
By Ella Cawthorne, PR Executive
Christmas is a time for giving and this year the team at Recognition decided to get involved with the Salvation Army’s toy collection for local children who are in need. In partnership with social services, the Salvation Army had identified around 750 children in Darlington who might not receive Christmas presents this festive season.
Each year the Salvation Army takes part in the toy appeal and help from local businesses is always greatly appreciated. We managed to collect four huge bin bags filled with gifts such as cuddly toys and baby dolls for younger children and toiletries and drones for teens.
The Salvation Army comes into its own at Christmas. Many people have very fond memories of the band playing in town centres, at Christmas fairs and even in residential areas to spread festive cheer.
The Salvation Army expresses its faith through charitable action by working at the heart of communities across the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It has 750 community churches and social centres where it offers friendship, practical help and support to some of the most disadvantaged people in its communities.
While there are many charities that each of us support, the Salvation Army holds a special place in our hearts. When we spotted the appeal for toys on The Northern Echo’s website, there was no doubt in our minds that we wanted to help.
A relative of one of our team is living with complex mental health needs and a couple of years ago they were admitted to hospital as their condition was unstable. Though there is no ‘ideal’ time to go through something like that, it is particularly difficult at Christmas time. And unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.
After a couple of weeks in hospital, the relative was due to be discharged on Christmas Eve. Though this sounds like perfect timing, home for Christmas to spend time with your family, it doesn’t take into account how a mental health condition can take its toll when mixed with the normal stresses of the festive season. The present buying, the wrapping and the dreaded food shop, it’s a stressful task for the best of us.
Returning home to a cold and empty flat, without a turkey in the fridge, is a daunting thought at what should be a joyful time of year. With help of the team, our colleagues managed to get some food shopping done for their relative for the next couple of days at home. We were all so pleased we could do something to help, but nothing could prepare us for the immense act of kindness that followed.
Christmas Eve came and it was time to go home. Our colleague went to pick up their relative and gave them the gift prepared by the team. As they walked through the front door, waiting on the dining table was a beautiful Christmas hamper from the Salvation Army. That one act of kindness helped to ensure that the relative could have a truly memorable Christmas, and we all will be forever grateful. From then on, each year the business donates money to the Salvation Army, as well as a personal donation from the family they helped.
From the bottom of our hearts, we would like to express our thanks to anyone who helped us with our collection. Hundreds of children across Darlington will be waking up on Christmas morning with a smile on their face as they open their gifts thanks to the wonderful work of the Salvation Army.