As we head into December and Christmas draws closer, Edinburgh’s local radio station Radio Forth is beginning its Mission Christmas Appeal. Launched last week, it has seen groups of volunteers and charity workers come together to ensure all children in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and Falkirk receive a gift this year.
The appeal has been a huge success in previous years, with more than £1.1 million worth of presents being distributed to 25,386 children last year.
One example of a charity helped previously by the appeal is Recovery Kidz, who in 2018 received over 200 gifts thanks to Mission Christmas. The Edinburgh-based charity works with underprivileged children, especially those whose families are affected by drug and alcohol addiction.
Nicki McCloud, a representative from Recovery Kidz, thanked the appeal for the gifts, stating “Recovery Kidz is incredibly grateful for all the presents we have received from Mission Christmas. Many of the children we work with have been affected by trauma and these presents really do make a huge difference, helping them to feel special.”
Normally, the appeal would function through a mix of cash donations and gift drop-offs, with drop-off points located in various businesses in the local area. However, Mission Christmas is going to have to function differently this year, with changes being made to ensure the appeal is Covid-safe.
Radio Forth states on their website that they have had to “limit the number of public-facing gift drop-off points”, and that the delivery of gifts will be managed by a “much-reduced team of volunteers.”
They then go on to suggest other ways in which the public can help the cause, such as by making a cash donation, which can be used to buy gifts in bulk at a reduced cost. This will enable the organisers to limit the amount of contact needed to process the gifts.
The website also encourages local business owners to support the cause. This, they suggest, could involve donating a proportion of their sales to the appeal, or organising a raffle or challenge. Alternatively, they encourage businesses with a shopfront or wall to display the charity’s interactive posters, which include a QR code that can be scanned by passers-by, taking them to the Radio Forth website where they can donate to the appeal.
Emma Kemp, Radio Forth’s Regional Charity Manager for Cash for Kids, has stated that due to the current circumstances, the appeal is now more significant than ever. “Despite the obstacles, we’ve been absolutely determined to continue with Mission Christmas. The impact Coronavirus has had on vulnerable families has been profound, so our 2020 appeal is arguably more important than ever before.”
She then goes on to highlight the importance of the charity’s workers and volunteers in ensuring Mission Christmas can still make an important difference this year, explaining “it’s been amazing seeing everyone pull together and come up with – once again – every child in Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife and Falkirk wakes up to a present on Christmas Day.”
Finally, she concludes “we’d urge everyone to do their bit, either through gift drop-offs or cash donations, to end 2020 on a positive note”, encouraging thepublic to support a cause that will improve the lives of thousands of children across Edinburgh, the Lothians, Fife, and Falkirk.
Image: James Petts via Wikimedia Commons