What we do Poverty Prevention Children at Christmas Children at Christmas Currently over 14 million people live in poverty in the UK, 4 million of those are children. Can you imagine getting to an exciting time in the year and wondering how on earth you can afford to treat your children at Christmas? Unfortunately this is the reality for many families and since 1996, we have been reaching out to underprivileged families working in partnership with a number of churches in Derby through donations of new toys for boys and girls between the ages of 0-17. TOY DONATIONS - OVER 460 CHILDREN BLESSED IN 2019 In 2019 over 460 children received a bag of Christmas presents, including two main presents, a book, cuddly toy and chocolate, kindly donated by local churches, schools, businesses and individuals. We were able to support families we were already working with through our Jubilee debt & benefit advice service, as well as others nominated by churches and charities that we partner with. This year because of the effect that Coronavirus has had of the economy, in the last month we have seen a sharp increase in the number of families facing poverty and seeking help with food and debt advice though our Jubilee clinics. With churches not meeting, or only in smaller numbers, we fear that we may receive fewer presents from this major source this year, so please can you spread the word and help us bring hope and happiness to these struggling families with some toys and gifts this Christmas. HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED? From mid-November, we start collecting donations of brand new toys, books and cuddly toys for children aged 0 to 17 years old, which are then packed into age-appropriate parcels with sweets and selection packs as distributed to the families from early December. This year because of having to quarantine donations before packing and distributing, please can donations be made before Friday 4th December at the latest. Buy a toy and deliver to our offices at 10 Normanton Road. Please call on 07954 783454 to check someone will be there to receive your gifts. Can’t get out to buy? This year we have created an Amazon wish list to make it easier for you to buy a gift. Please make sure gifts are sent to the Gift Registry address so they come directly to our offices. If you order by AmazonSmile and choose Derby City Mission as your Charity of Choice, you may be able to raise extra funds for us when you buy gifts marked Eligible for donation. Visit our Amazon wish List HERE> No time to buy? We can buy them for you. Donate now via our website. Part of a school/church/business? Why not arrange a ‘Toy Harvest’ assembly or service to gather new toys or encourage members or colleagues to use our Amazon wish list above. Email [email protected] for more information about collections for donated gifts Click here to see a list of suitable presents per age group. Here are some of the families we will help this year... Family 1: Mum of two recently widowed. *Katy’s partner died in August leaving her with two young children. Coming to terms with the loss in the family is so hard and financially, she has struggled enormously. She has been taking one day at a time but said that she is scared to think of Christmas as she has no spare money to buy her children anything. She said she feels like a big weight has been lifted off her knowing that we can provide presents for her children. Family 2: Single mum of three made redundant. Single mum, *Emma, has been made redundant after a period of time on furlough. She is desperately looking for work but in the meantime, she is struggling to adjust to life on benefits and has been dreading Christmas as she doesn’t know how she will afford to buy her three children any presents. She was so relieved to hear that we can help her by providing presents for all three children this year. This is how one partner described the impact of Christmas Connection on the families she works with: ‘Some of the circumstances in which the families live are overcrowded and humbling and in many homes there was no visible sign that it was Christmas. The donation of those gifts made all the difference and brought joy and happiness to so many families. Your work is transformative; for each child you give not just the gift of Christmas but the gift of kindness which could change the whole way they see the world'. This year we will be working in partnership with the Food4Thought Alliance, who have helped to support families experiencing food poverty during the current crisis, to reach as many children as possible in need this Christmas. If you would like to be involved in transforming the lives of children and families this Christmas, please get involved! Together, let's make a difference.