Please Give a Gift and help those in need

Join our fes­tive ap­peal and spread some fes­tive cheers

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

It’s that time of year again when we ask our gen­er­ous read­ers to help those in our com­mu­nity fac­ing tougher times than most this Christ­mas.

The Stir­ling Ob­server Give A Gift Ap­peal has been run­ning since 2008, re­ceiv­ing and dis­tribut­ing do­na­tions of toys and gifts for sick, dis­abled, needy and dis­ad­van­taged chil­dren and young peo­ple at Christ­mas.

Col­lected at our of­fices in Up­per Craigs and with the gen­er­ous sup­port of a host of drop-off points across the area, the gifts are distributed via a wide range of char­i­ties – large and small – with the aim of en­sur­ing that no lo­cal child goes with­out on Christ­mas morn­ing.

Among the char­i­ties and good causes which help to dis­trib­ute the gifts are Stir­ling Young Car­ers, Home-Start Stir­ling, PLUS, Corn­ton Vale and Glenochil Fam­ily Hubs, Stir­ling Women’s Aid, Stir­ling Coun­cil so­cial ser­vices, along with a num­ber of oth­ers.

Last year, the ap­peal added more causes to the list in­clud­ing Forth Valley Royal Hospi­tal’s chil­dren’s ward. Stir­ling Down’s Syn­drome Play­group and the chil­dren’s be­reave­ment ser­vice at Strath­car­ron Hos­pice. The ap­peal also aims to re­spond to any one-off ap­proaches from or­gan­i­sa­tions which deal with chil­dren or young peo­ple whom they feel may be fac­ing a dif­fi­cult fes­tive sea­son.

It also ex­ists to ease the pres­sure many of the char­i­ties face over the fes­tive sea­son and al­lows them to put re­sources they may oth­er­wise have had to use for gifts into their other ar­eas of good work. Ob­server re­porter Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks said: “The ap­peal is quite an un­der­tak­ing for us, but over the years it has be­come some­thing we know is much ap­pre­ci­ated by the char­i­ties.

“As the scale of the ap­peal has grown it would have been easy to for­get just what it means.

“But some of the feed­back we have had from the char­i­ties has been ex­tremely hum­bling.

“What we hope to achieve each year with Give A Gift is to help these amaz­ing char­i­ties to con­tinue with their great work with­out the added worry of how they are go­ing to be able to en­sure Santa vis­its these young­sters.

“Life is hard enough for many fam­i­lies, but there can be lit­tle more gut-wrench­ing than dread­ing Christ­mas be­cause you know that your chil­dren may have noth­ing from Santa on Christ­mas morn­ing be­cause you are strug­gling to even feed or clothe them, or be­cause your health re­stricts what you can do for them.

“Some of the chil­dren sim­ply find them­selves the in­no­cent vic­tims of their fam­ily cir­cum­stances or their environment and only have these char­i­ties and or­gan­i­sa­tions to de­pend on.

“For oth­ers the gifts are a way of let­ting them know that they are not alone and that other peo­ple do care about their strug­gles and ap­pre­ci­ate their prob­lems.”

“Each year we re­ceive more do­na­tions than the pre­vi­ous year.

“How­ever, the de­mand has also grown and we are very much start­ing from scratch this Christ­mas and need peo­ple to dig deeper than ever be­fore so that we can pro­vide as much as pos­si­ble for the char­i­ties and, more im­por­tantly, the chil­dren they sup­port.”

If you would like to or­gan­ise a col­lec­tion of gifts for the ap­peal via your busi­ness, work­place, school or group, would like to be one of our of­fi­cial drop off points, or would sim­ply like more in­for­ma­tion, please feel free to con­tact the Stir­ling Ob­server on (01786) 451110 or 459417 or email: news@stir­lin­gob­server. co.uk or kaiya.mar­jorib­anks@reach­plc. com.

Your sup­port will be much ap­pre­ci­ated and we will aim to pho­to­graph and fea­ture as many col­lec­tions as pos­si­ble in the Ob­server over the fes­tive sea­son.

A huge thank you Some of the gifts handed in last year

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