MORE than 13,000 children in the South Yorkshire region will wake on Christmas morning to find Santa hasn’t visited them this year – unless you help us to make their dreams come true, writes digital editor Graham Walker.
That’s the grim but real message as The Star teams up with Hallam FM and Magic AM again to back the Cash For Kids Mission Christmas.
It’s our annual gifts and cash appeal which last year helped a record-breaking 13,159 children receive presents and benefit from cash donations of over £450,000.
But this year, with the economic downturn and more families than ever living on the poverty line, appeal chiefs are expecting more referrals by social services and other official children’s organisations, such as Barnado’s, Sheffield Women’s Aid and refuges.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our special video report.
There are more than 60 drop-off points for new and unwrapped toys across South Yorkshire, including stores displaying Mission Christmas posters, The Star shop in York Street and the Hallam FM and Magic AM radio station at Radio House, in Herries Road.
Cash donations are also being requested, to ensure gifts for all age groups, especially babies and older teenagers who often get left out.
Jeremy Clifford, Editor of The Star said: “Together our readers and listeners to Hallam FM and Magic AM can make a huge difference for less fortunate children.”
Official supporters are Travel South Yorkshire, financial services organisation Foresters, and design and print specialists Robrook.
Hallam FM presenters Big John, “Producer James” Crookes and Janine Jones from the Breakfast show, Scott Makin, Steve White and Magic AM’s Trevor Thomas today helped to launch The Star’s involvement for the fourth year.
They manned a ‘mission control’ desk, to take calls for help and give advice on how to make a donation.
Big John@Breakfast said: “Last year we got enough toys to help over 13,000 children. We fear that won’t be enough this year. But we can do it - with the help of Star readers and listeners to Hallam FM and Magic AM.
“It’s hard to believe that in South Yorkshire there’s so many children who are going to wake up on Christmas Day with absolutely nothing, unless we do something.
“Imagine writing a letter to Santa Claus and not getting anything. These kids are in that situation through no fault of their own.”
Samantha Travis, Charity Manager with Cash For Kids, said: “We receive applications for gifts from Barnado’s, Sheffield Women’s Aid, refuges, social services and many more. With child poverty on the increase we know there are even more children that need our support this Christmas time.”
Katy Winterschladen, Regional Charity Manager Hallam FM and Magic AM’s Cash for Kids added: “Last year, thanks to your generosity, our appeal raised over £450,000 worth of gifts which were distributed to over 13,000 of the neediest children in our local area.
“This year, our Mission is simple. To ensure that no child in South Yorkshire is at risk of waking up on Christmas Morning to nothing. If you can help us keep the Christmas dream alive. Together we can make a difference.”
Claire Wareing, Charity Fundraiser, said: “With this help thousands of underprivileged children right across South Yorkshire will receive something special on Christmas morning.”