Toy appeal aims to ensure no Darlington child goes without this Christmas (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Toy appeal aims to ensure no Darlington child goes without this Christmas
ENSURING no Darlington children suffer the heartbreak of having to go without any presents on Christmas Day is the aim of a charity toy appeal being launched this week.
Last year, the Salvation Army gave toys to 200 disadvantaged youngsters in the town, with the demand expected to be higher still this festive season.
Captain Colin Bradshaw, commanding officer of the Darlington Citadel, in Thomson Street East, said: “The toy appeal is for disadvantaged children referred to us through agencies such as social services.
“We have been informed that, due to Government cuts, other agencies have ceased to function in the Darlington area, meaning there is just the Salvation Army to try and meet the ever-growing need for toys this Christmas.
“Last year, the Salvation Army helped more than 200 children, but sadly we did run out of toys and had to go out at the last minute and buy even more.
“Every year, the demand for help at Christmas seems to get bigger and we haven’t got unlimited resources.”
The charity is appealing for as much help as possible with the appeal.
Cpt Bradshaw added: “The appeal benefits children in the Darlington area and the aim is to make sure that every child gets a Christmas Day.
“Last year, the demand was unprecedented and we helped more children than ever before.
“There is growing poverty and we are expecting our services to be even more in demand this year.”
The charity is predicting it will be asked to supply presents to about 250 impoverished children in Darlington and the surrounding area this year.
Cpt Bradshaw pointed to the increase in the number of food banks in the borough as an indicator of a possible increased demand on the charity.
He said: “There are two more food banks in Darlington than last year, people are struggling to live and we are expecting that to have an impact on the number of referrals we get.”
The charity is appealing for donations of brand-new toys, not second-hand, or donations to fund the purchase of gifts.
As well as toys suitable for young children, gifts suitable for teenagers are also needed.
To make a donation, contact the charity on 01325-380994, visit darlingtonsalvationarmy.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit its headquarters at Thomson Street East, Darlington DL1 3EW.