More than 1000 children around Fife will wake up to a happy Christmas this year thanks to the efforts of a new charity.
Gift of Christmas Appeal Fife took over after the demise of the Spirit of Christmas, collecting toys and gifts for children up to the age of 16 from all over the Kingdom.
Through a network of 43 collection points, including fire stations, people were invited to give what they could to children in need, and individuals, companies, playgroups and many other organisations rose to the occasion to help out.
By the closing date of December 11 the appeal was able to provide Christmas presents for just under 1100 children, ensuring that all gift bags contained a good selection of gifts for the relevant age of the child.
The mammoth task was carried out by just four mums from Freuchie: Katherine Hope, Sarah Brown, Hilary Haman and Charlotte Lever, who wanted every child in the region to enjoy their Christmas day.
The charity also received £510 in cash donations, which it used to buy gift vouchers for the older aged children. Katherine Hope, a mother-of-three, who helped set up the appeal, said: “The range of donations we have received has been brilliant. So many gift bags were donated which were clearly put together with such care, with everything from traditional toys, games, dolls, scooters, stocking fillers, books, arty things, cosmetics and toiletries, gift vouchers, clothes and much more.
“We hope that all of our hard work and effort will result in some smiling faces on Christmas morning. We are very, very grateful to the generous members of the public who donated toys and to the companies which acted as drop off points, many which went well above what was asked of them by holding their own collections among their staff.
“Every donation has mattered, however big or small, and we have made efforts to ensure that any unusual or high value donations go to a child who will particularly benefit from them.”
The agencies which made referrals and benefited from the collection included Fife Women’s Aid, Fife Young Carers, Fife Council’s social services team and schools, including Kingskettle Primary School.
“We fully intend to run Gift of Christmas Appeal next year, and will make some adjustments from what we have learned this year,” Katherine said. “It has been an exciting if very stressful couple of months for myself and the other organisers, and I would like to thank Sarah, Hilary and Charlotte, for agreeing to get involved.
“We just want to wish everyone around Fife a very Merry Christmas.”