Give generously to the homeless and vulnerable – that’s the message from the Salvation Army and the Eastbourne Herald as next week sees the launch of the annual Tin Appeal.
Each year shoppers are encouraged to buy a little extra with their Christmas shopping and drop non perishable items into special collecting boxes in the town’s major supermarkets.
This year the tin appeal is being extended to collect toys too in a bid to make Christmas more special for families living in temporary accommodation and who cannot afford such items.
The Tin and Toy Appeal begins Monday November 26 and will last until Wednesday December 19.
Shoppers can donate items at both the Sainsbury’s stores in Eastbourne’s Arndale Centre and Hampden Park, the Tesco stores in Lottbridge Drove and Langney Shopping Centre, ASDA at the Crumbles, Waitrose in Old Town and the newly opened Morrisons.
Special boxes have been put in store for people to donate and all items will be collected on a regular basis and on Friday December 21 teams of volunteers will begin wrapping toys and making food parcels.
In previous years Eastbourne mayors have helped with packing and wrapping toys. It is the 16th year the appeal has been run.
The donated items will be delivered to homeless people, vulnerable members of the community and families in need just before Christmas.
Last year’s donations were considerably down on previous years so organisers are hoping people will be generous over the next four weeks.
Pauline Peagam, the community development worker at the Salvation Army citadel in Langney Road, said, “We were very short of donations last year with not as much food being donated or as many toys as in the preceeding years.
“There are people out in our community who will be spending Christmas on the streets or alone. They may not have any access to cooking facilities or any family to spend it with. We want to help bring a little Christmas cheer to those in great need.”
“Hundreds of children and young people in Eastbourne have benefited from the gifts donated to the Salvation Army over many years. By giving food or a gift to our tin and toy appeal you can make a real difference in someone’s life at Christmas.
“Many families linked with local partner agencies such as single-parent support networks and family centres have come to rely on the toys donated through the Salvation Army’s annual gift appeal.
“For children and young people we need everything, from soft and educational toys for the very youngest, to CDs, games and toys and accessories for older children. And please, don’t forget the teenagers, particularly the boys who sometimes tend to get left out of such appeals.
“If you have children or grandchildren, or nieces and nephews or young friends, think of what they might like in their Christmas stocking and consider buying one extra present and donating it.”
“We believe every child deserves a new gift at Christmas and are therefore unable to take used or second hand items. The gifts will be distributed to referred children and families in the area through the Salvation Army’s own networks, local groups and social services.”
“These gifts and parcels of food really do make a difference to people who are either living on the streets or young families living in temporary accommodation and we want to give them the best Christmas present.”