Christmas Toy Appeal: 'Children shouldn't wake to no presents'
MORE than 75 companies have already pledged their support to help children facing Christmas without presents.
The Salvation Army's annual Toy Appeal sees donated gifts sent to children and teenagers from struggling families across North Staffordshire.
Churchill China, based in Tunstall, will be pledging its support to the appeal once again.
The tableware manufacturer has supported the appeal for the last six years.
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Export co-ordinator Julia Roper, aged 36, said: "I have three children and can't imagine what it would be like for children who go without presents at Christmas.
"It means so much to us to know we are making a difference to a lot of children in Stoke-on-Trent.
"It's nice to put a smile on a child's face. Everyone in the company has been so generous because it's a really worthy cause."
Co- worker Andrea Brereton, aged 42, of Meir Park, added the number of toys the company donates increases every year.
She said: "At the end of the day, Christmas is for children and we don't want to hear about children waking up without presents.
"The appeal is really popular and everybody looks forward to it.
"People are always asking me when it's happening again or when they can bring their toys in.
"It gets such amazing support and some people choose to buy for more than one child."
Salvation Army commanding officer Major Neil Denyer, aged 50, said: "It's amazing that these businesses are donating and putting time into their local community to help.
"In these difficult times, we need to remember there are people in more need than us and it's fantastic when people put time and effort in to do something for them."
Neil is urging companies interested in joining the appeal to get in touch with them.
He said: "For those who have done it in the past, we owe a big gratitude.
"The amount of toys donated increases every year but we get more and more calls from people asking for our help.
"The appeal is so important because for a lot of families we see, this would be the only new and wrapped Christmas gift they will get this year. It means they will at least have good memories of the day.
"Most of our toys are sent out to the children but for the ones we see receiving them, it's great to see the joy on their faces."
Presents can be dropped off at Salvation Army bases and at Stoke-on-Trent City Council's civic centre, Swann House, Swift House, Gordon House, Contact Centre and Stoke One Stop Shop. Presents can also be brought into The Sentinel's reception in Etruria.