Christmas should be a time for love and joy, not for worrying about putting food on the table and affording presents for the kids.
But many local families are facing such struggles this Christmas. According to the council, in Manchester a shocking 35% of children under the age of 16 are living in poverty.
For these kids, Christmas is looking bleak. For many, waking up to presents under the tree and a nice big Christmas dinner will seem out of reach.
Local children’s charity Wood Street Mission has been helping to provide toys for local children at Christmas since it was founded in 1869. And this year looks set to be its busiest yet.
This is what you wonderful folk have helped us to achieve!! The first 150 families will be through the door tomorrow and the next day…and the next…..and the next …..#3weeks #woodstreetxmas #manchester #salford #poverty pic.twitter.com/F0UEOOkXaM
— Wood Street Mission (@WoodSt_Mission) December 1, 2019
Every year they collect toys for local children in need. Then, just before Christmas, parents and carers can visit their Christmas shop to pick out the presents they think their children would most like.
Presents include donated toys, gifts and books. Sometimes there are extra treats, too, like selection boxes and advent calendars.
According to their social media channels, however, this year they are already running low and are asking for donations of new toys, gifts and books, with selection boxes and advent calendars also welcome.
They are looking specifically for gifts for children aged 0-2 and over 10, as this is where their stocks are lowest.
It doesn’t have to be brand new – it could be something that you already have at home.
Donations can be dropped off Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm at Wood Street Mission’s city centre offices at 26 Wood Street, Manchester, M3 3EF.
Alternatively, if you aren’t able to drop off donations, they can collect donations from most parts of the Greater Manchester area. Call 0161 834 3140 to book a collection.