Specialist independent toy retailer, The Entertainer, is partnering with The Salvation Army on a campaign designed to give as many underprivileged children as possible the joy of opening a present on Christmas day. The appeal is for shoppers to purchase an extra toy to donate when they visit any of The Entertainer stores or online site, TheToyShop.com. For every item donated The Entertainer will also donate a toy, doubling the overall number of donations. Online shoppers can join the appeal by adding a gift to their basket.
The campaign has been launched as government statistics reveal that around 4.1m children are currently living in poverty, which is the equivalent to nine children in every classroom of 30. It is hoped that if enough toys are donated it will help ease pressure on families who have very tight household budgets, many of whom turn to The Salvation Army for support and use foodbanks for help throughout the Christmas period.
In 2018, around 5,690 people attend a Salvation Army lunch club per week and some 13,000 children visit a Salvation Army centre for play groups and other activities. An average of 4,000 young people attend Salvation Army outreach clubs. The Salvation Army gave out over 5,000 emergency food parcels to people in need last Christmas and via the partnership with The Entertainer, over 40,000 gifts were distributed to children who might otherwise not receive anything at Christmas.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman at The Entertainer said: “The Big Toy Appeal is all about making Christmas Day easier for those families who struggle at Christmas by providing toys to open on the big day. Toy donations will be distributed into the community via The Salvation Army for families who need our help the most.”
Tony Daniels, director for community services for The Salvation Army, added: “During the festive season, many people will enjoy celebrating with their friends and family, sharing gifts together. But while for some this is a happy time of year, for others, things are a real struggle, with the choice being to provide their children with food or with a gift.
“The Entertainer’s Big Toy Appeal is a fantastic opportunity for local communities to join with us in helping people in need at Christmas time and to spread a little joy to children who might otherwise not receive any presents.”
The Big Toy Appeal will run from November 1-16 2019 in all 170 stores nationwide.