Appeal launched to find Christmas presents for disadvantaged children in the Harborough district - here's how you can help
A high-profile charity mission to round up 15,000 new Christmas Day toys for needy kids has been launched.
The annual campaign ensures children from disadvantaged as well as refugee families across Harborough and Leicestershire have a gift to open from Santa.
The Toys on the Table crusade gets bigger and better every year after being started 20 years ago.
Trustee Bill Bowley said: “This is such a vital, worthwhile cause.
“What can be more fulfilling than putting a smile on a child’s face on Christmas Day?
“We are proud that no boy or girl goes without thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of the Leicestershire public.”
Based at Matrix House in Leicester, he said children from tough and hard-up backgrounds are referred to them by social services, schools and groups like Women’s Aid.
“We ask for new, unwrapped toys to be handed in to collection hubs in Market Harborough as well as other points around the area,” said Bill, who’s helped to spearhead the huge county-wide effort for 15 years.
“They are sorted according to age and distributed to families by the people who’ve referred the children to us.
“We’ve doubled the number of youngsters we help up to 4000 and we’ll collect about 15,000 toys.
“Thousands of toys will be kindly donated to us in Harborough alone.
“I never fail to be amazed by how generous both people and businesses are, handing us toys worth up to £20 each.
“It’s just unbelievable.
“It’s an enormous logistical operation as we’ll work all the way up to Christmas Eve and our volunteers do a brilliant job.
“But giving these children so much joy at this time of year makes our Christmas that much happier too.”
In Harborough you can drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Hfm office on Fernie Road, Santander, High Street, James Convenience Retail, St Mary’s Place, the Rubber Company, Riverside, Just So Italian, Adam and Eve Street, and The Growing Tree, Manor Walk.
In Lutterworth you can donate at James Convenience Retail, Linden Drive, and Jane Elliott Hair, High Street.