People are being encouraged to dig deep for this year’s Salvation Army and Eastbourne Herald Tin and Toy 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.
Once again 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 began last Monday and will last until mid-December.
It is run by the Salvation Army Citadel in Langney Road in conjunction with the Eastbourne Herald and Gazette.
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, Morrison’s in Hampden Park and Waitrose in Old Town.
Collection boxes are also in place at Debenhams and M&S in Terminus Road.
Special boxes have been put in store for people to donate and all items will be collected on a regular basis and shortly before Christmas teams of volunteers will begin wrapping toys and making food parcels.
It is the 17th 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, “There are people out in our community who will be spending Christmas on the streets or alone.
“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.”
Last year almost 200 needy and vulnerable families had an extra special Christmas thanks to the success of the tin and toy appeal.
Shoppers donated toys and non-perishable foods and organisers said last year’s appeal had a good response and made a difference to people who are less fortunate.
The Salvation Army in Eastbourne is also gearing up for providing hot food and warm shelter for homeless and vulnerable people in the town over the Christmas period.
Last year it served Christmas dinner to 40 people who would otherwise have spent Christmas on the streets or in temporary accommodation with no cooking facilities.