CHILDREN on the other side of the globe will be waking up to new toys this Christmas thanks to the big-hearted efforts of a Doncaster woman.
Hundreds of youngsters in war-torn Afghanistan will be able to cuddle up to brand new soft toys after caring Kay Harper ensured sacks of goodies were distributed to orphans in the battle-scarred country.
And although Christmas is not celebrated in Afghanistan, Kay knows her charity efforts will bring a smile to children’s faces this December 25.
She said: “These children have lost their families and have nobody to turn to - but they are the lucky ones.
“There are thousands not so lucky, just left to survive. I am not a mother myself but I have the strongest maternal instinct to try to help these children, if only to see them smile,” she said.
Kay, aged 38, from Thorne, sprung into action to help after arriving in the country to begin work as a transport manager, setting up a project to help draw in gifts.
Her Kids In Kabul campaign was borne out of seeing desperate children, dressed in rags, odd shoes and without even a teddy bear to cuddle, roaming the streets as she went about her day-to-day business delivering supplies to British troops stationed in the country.
She said: “I was shocked to see the children and their standards of living, begging and scrounging for food. These are just children - orphans - and every child needs someone to hold, even if it is just a bear.
“There are so many children here and I was told there were three orphanages in Kabul which could benefit from our help.”
She has already delivered more than 100 aid boxes to youngsters, despite having to negotiate scores of checkpoints and travelling with armed guards. She added: “Visiting the orphanage was probably one of the most rewarding days I have ever had.
“All the effort and problems did not matter once we saw the children’s excitement and smiling faces.”
She said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who sent gifts, including the school who sent in teddy bears - each with a tag and a story.
“I do not know which school it was but I want them to see the how their fantastic gesture touched these children.”
The appeal has now closed and Kay has requested that no more gifts are sent.