Final week to Give a Gift for a local child in need
WITH only five days to go, Thurrock Council is calling for your help to make sure no local child goes without a present on Christmas day.
The project, in its second year, has taken over a retail space in partnership with intu Lakeside in a bid to raise money for local Charity ‘GiFT’ and collect donated gifts to give to children unlikely to receive one at Christmas.
With 1850 children, impressively over 1000 gifts have already been donated– but there are many more still to go.
Between local businesses, residents and council officers over 12,000 hours have been donated to make the project work and thousands of pounds has been raised.
Cllr Sue Little, Portfolio Holder for Social Care said: “We have been completely overwhelmed with support, not only from people donating presents, but all the retail businesses and local organisations who have gone above and beyond and donated gifts, wrapping paper and allowed their staff to come along and volunteer.
“We still have around 800 red stars – meaning we’re still looking for around 800 presents. Mostly these children are teenage boys. Thankfully, many of the smaller children, babies and toddlers have been done – but we’ve still got a way to go to ensure every child has a gift.
“Each day something is donated, said or done as part of the project which could move you to tears. Yesterday, I’m told a local driving instructor popped into the shop and agreed to give 10 lessons to one of our older teenagers, what a fantastic opportunity.
“Last week, a lady came into the shop and explained that last year, her child was a star on the tree and she wanted to return the wonderful gesture this year.
“These children are from a variety of backgrounds – but actually, it’s not even about that – it’s Christmas. There are children we may walk past today who will not receive anything to open on Christmas morning and I have no doubt we can change that together, one present at a time.”
The shops last open day is next Tuesday (12 December) and is located on the second floor by House of Fraser next to McDonalds.
To learn more about the project, visit: Thurrock.gov.uk/giveagift
To find out about fostering opportunities, visit: Thurrock.gov.uk/fostering