Local charities appeal for every child to have a gift this Christmas
For 23 years, Belfast Central Mission (BCM) has been partnering with both the Department for Communities and St Vincent de Paul (SVP) for the annual ‘Giving Tree’ campaign, collecting and distributing toys and gifts for children and young people at Christmas. The last number of years have seen 4,000 toy parcels and gifts go out annually from BCM via its projects and partner organisations.
This year’s Appeal was officially launched this week at an event at the Maldron Hotel in Belfast and was attended by community representatives and local businesses which are encouraging individuals, workplaces, organisations, and communities to help them provide a sense of joy to as many families as possible by donating a gift or voucher.
Nicky Conway, Chief Executive of BCM, said:
“We know that this year is going to be difficult for a lot more people due to the rising cost-of-living, and we are already receiving calls for help ahead of Christmas. We would like to see more people than ever be able to help us at a local level in providing that sense of Christmas magic that can unfortunately be missing from so many homes due to the expense of buying toys and gifts, which is why we would encourage anyone who can to support our appeal.”
As part of its longstanding affiliation with the Department for Communities (DfC), the Appeal relies on the generosity of gifts, cash donations and time given by DfC volunteers, members of the public, and others, during the appeal’s busiest weeks in December.
Colum Boyle, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities, said:
“We are delighted and honoured to continue this annual tradition with BCM and St Vincent de Paul. Our teams across Northern Ireland look forward to this opportunity to rally together to do their bit for those who could benefit from a bit of extra help at Christmas. By continuing to support the Giving Tree Appeal we hope that as many children as possible will have a smile on their face this Christmas morning.”
Mary Waide, Regional President (north region) for SVP, said:
“As more families are faced with impossible choices this winter, the generosity of the public will help support the vital work of SVP. We will be protecting the dignity of those we are helping by giving them the gift of choice and with a voucher bought with online donations, they can choose the most appropriate item for under the tree, to fill the freezer or heat their home.”
Having been in the Linen Quarter of Belfast since 1889, BCM has partnered with The LQ BID for 2022, a group of businesses and organisations within the area south of the City Hall, to further raise awareness and support for its efforts over the coming months. Chris McCracken is the CEO of the Linen Quarter BID:
“With so many companies of varying sizes throughout the Linen Quarter, the potential for additional support for this wonderful cause is huge. We are doing what we can as a Business Improvement District to mobilise awareness and interest among our members and residents so that we can all get behind BCM, both as a charity supporting local families but also as a landmark of the Linen Quarter for centuries.”
The Toy Appeal for 2022 is the subject of the October episode of ‘Because Caring Matters’, the podcast from BCM, and is available to download via Amazon Music, Spotify, and more.
To donate, visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/givingtree2022 or for more information, visit www.belfastcentralmission.org.