[I]n November of this year, CFM’s Cash for Kids launched their annual Mission Christmas appeal supported by B&M stores, inviting locals to purchase one extra gift to help thousands of disadvantaged and disabled children in Cumbria and South West Scotland.
With 1 in 4 children across the area living in poverty this December, for many families Christmas is simply a luxury they can’t afford – Save the Children describe child poverty as living in a house with no central heating and going to bed at night without a hot meal. Mission Christmas doesn’t aim to end child poverty, but to bring hope to children and a smile on their face on Christmas morning.
Over the last 6 weeks, people have rallied together to support the appeal by either buying a gift, being a gift drop off point, hosting a fundraising event, donating cash or joining in with Christmas jumper day.
This year Cash for Kids set out to collect gifts for 7,150 children, which would beat the total from 2016. CFM’s charity are over the moon to announce that in total they saw gifts and cash donated to the value of £512,730, helping 7,888 children wake up to the magic of a gift on Christmas day.
Toys and gifts are distributed through the likes of Barnardos, Children’s Services and local schools who recognise those families most in need.
One teacher from a Carlisle Primary school explained: “handing the presents over was very emotional, the parents were so grateful to know that their children were going to receive a present this Christmas – these children don’t get a lot at Christmas which means that other money can be prioritised on paying rent and feeding their children. They are just very grateful for everything that everyone has done and they want to say thank you to the public.”
Cash for Kids Project Manager Katie Jones commented: “Once again, the local people of Cumbria and South West Scotland have risen to the challenge and exceeded in the mission to help thousands of underprivileged children. People are so, so kind and we really couldn’t have done it without the individuals, volunteers and businesses who played a part in achieving this result. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and Merry Christmas.”
Cash for Kids will continue to support children in to the New Year with gift donations going to emergency situations and supporting the women’s refuges. The charity hope that they can count on the support of the generous public to drive the appeal again in 2018, and increase the number of local children helped further.