There are dozens of Salvation Army family centres across the UK which collect donated items as part of the Christmas Appeal scheme. There is a need for unwrapped gifts for the less fortunate. Everything from toys to clothes, toiletries, gifts, food hampers, electronics, and much more is needed. Based on family need, these Christmas gift type items are then given for free to the disadvantaged up through mid-December.
The Salvation Army runs the Christmas Present Appeal programme in partnership with other charities. Some of the most important partners include churches such as Saint Vincent de Paul. There are also donations of presents that come from shops across the UK as well as local fundraisers. The BBC also organises a fund raising drive as part of the Toys & Tins scheme. All of these agencies partner together to help the vulnerable have some form of holiday joy.
Types of Christmas gifts given
What is provided to a family or kid will depend on donations from the public as well as the clients age. However all of the gifts given will be free as well as new. The Salvation Army does not provide second hand items. Some of the examples of what the Christmas Present Appeal scheme will give out is as follows.
- Children up to age 5 may be given CDs, dolls, teddy bears, action sets, or crayons.
- Clients from age 6 to 12 can apply for DVDs, educational games, books, and other toys for their age.
- Older under-privileged children from age 13 to 16 can also get help from the Christmas Present Appeal programme. Girls may be giving make-up, there may be clothes such as scarves, CDs or DVDs, and much more.
- The entire family can be given a free parcel of food to prepare their own Christmas meal.
What is provided by the Salvation Army always depends on donations though. So the kid may not be given the exact Christmas gift they want, but there will be some type of present provided to them. The items also depend on demand as well. So if the number of requests for CDs is greater than what was donated (and if the application was late) it will not be likely that the child can be given what they requested.
There are several other schemes run by the Salvation Army centres in the UK, and these also help the poor at Christmas. The services from the church range from food and meal programs to home visits as well as volunteer delivery services. There are volunteers at many of the Salvation Army churches that deliver free goods to the needy. They can deliver toys as part of Christmas Present Appeal to children from families on a low income or they deliver parcels of food to housebound.
Even if someone is lonely or in the hospital, the Salvation Army can visit them at the holiday to bring them Christmas joy. Some hospitals in the UK may even have the Salvation Army band drop in to spread some joy. During this visit they may have a small gift, or bring them food so they can prepare a holiday meal.
The homeless also can get help from the Salvation Army. They can benefit from both the Christmas Present Appeal programme or just using a local soup kitchen. Volunteers will deliver items to people sleeping rough or those on the streets. The homeless can also be given free clothing (such as socks or sleeping bags) or even a Christmas gift. The soup kitchens are also open on or before Christmas day and they will serve a hot meal to the disadvantaged.
Apply or donate to the Christmas Present Appeal scheme
Salvation Army family centres across the United Kingdom take part in the programme. There are tens of thousands of families who are able to receive a free gift or meal as part of the donations from the public. Most of the assistance also goes to the most vulnerable, such as children from a disadvantaged household or an older person.
Donations of non-perishable foods, money and toys are normally accepted through the middle to end of November, but the dates can change based on centre. For people looking to apply for help, this will also normally need to be complete by early December. The reception desk telephone 0207 367 4500, or search for a local Salvation Army centre.