Cash for Kids’ urgent Mission Christmas plea to support 19,000 families still needing help
1 year ago
Everton forward Dwight McNeil was helping Cash for Kids pack presents for its Christmas Mission today, as the charity made a new and urgent appeal for help.
The Blues player and his girlfriend, Megan Sharpley, volunteered their time at its Birkenhead warehouse as the Christmas Mission team worked frantically to make sure no child wakes up to an empty sack on December 25.
But with just three days left for people to donate cash and gifts, there are still 19,000 families needing its support.
Hayley Smallman, Cash for Kids’ fundraising executive, said:
“If anyone can do anything to help us, then please, please do it.
“We are trying to create a little bit of magic for the most vulnerable children and families who are desperately struggling.
“The depravation has reached new levels this year and more people than ever are asking for our help.
“We never want to say no to anyone – and we hope we won’t have to this year.”
Hayley added: “For families who are making tough decisions about heating their home or putting food on the table, Christmas presents are way down the list of priorities, and we have seen a huge surge in demand for our help this year.
“It’s heart-breaking to think that there are children who will run down the stairs excitedly on Christmas Day to find nothing there waiting for them.
“We are determined to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Cash for Kids is a grant-giving charity helping the children that need it most across Liverpool and the North West.
Throughout the year, it works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and young people affected by illness, poverty, neglect or who have additional needs.
And at Christmas, it puts every effort into making sure the fun and spirit of the festive season reaches every child and their family.
Hayley went on: “Mission Christmas is one of the biggest campaigns of the year and one of our most important.
“We want to make sure that every vulnerable child across our city wakes up with toys and Christmas presents that they feel proud of.
“And we want to help the families that are struggling so much that they have been unable to buy Christmas presents this year through no fault of their own.”
Hayley revealed that the charity has received 32,000 applications for help this year, with more coming in by the day.
Applications come from social workers, teachers, and pastoral care workers, among others, who act as Cash for Kids’ eyes and ears as to who is most in need of help; but they also come from desperate parents for whom Christmas has sent them to breaking point.
“It’s been more difficult than ever this year because everyone is feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis,” said Hayley. “Our tables have been bare at times and donations not as rapid as they have been in the past at a time when requests for our help are higher than ever.
“Of those 32,000 applications we have received, we still have 19,000 to fulfil in the next few days.
“We know we can’t fix all of people’s problems, but we would like to create that little bit of magic so that it’s a different day than the rest of the year for these children, so they can go back to school and tell their friends what they got for Christmas, and be just like their peers.
“We’re working really hard to get as many donations in as we can and give out these gifts.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has supported us so far. We couldn’t do this without them.
“Liverpool is an incredible city where people come together when they need to. That’s what we do. And what we are doing now is helping our neighbours, helping vulnerable children across the city.
“And there is still time to donate so we don’t have to let anyone down.”
Anyone wishing to help can donate cash which Cash for Kids will use to buy toys, or leave gifts and toys at any of the drop off points listed on its website, or at any B&M store.
“If you’re out shopping this weekend, please grab a toy and put it in our box – we are particularly low on things for children between five and seven, and seven to nine,” urged Hayley.
“It would be wonderful if people could support us, and make sure every child in the city has something to open on Christmas Day.”
Dwight McNeil added: “Coming down to the warehouse has really opened our eyes to the struggles happening around Liverpool this year. No child should wake up on Christmas Day without a present.
“The work being done is amazing but they’re still struggling with donations, so I really urge anyone who can afford too, to donate a present to the cause!”