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Christmas Toy Appeal

From Rev Tony Buglass

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Many of you will have picked up on the story of this year's Hebden Bridge Toy Appeal - how the customary council support could not be provided and the Appeal looked likely to be dropped this year, how some of us in the churches decided children shouldn't be the victims of spending cuts, and tried to pick it up and run with it. Both Les Siddall of the Salem Community Centre and I wrote thank you letters to the HB Times, which seem to have vanished into the maw of the publication process, so I'd like to use Hebweb to offer our thanks for so much support.

As you can imagine, Christmas is always a busy time for a minister, so I was more than a bit nervous about what we were letting ourselves in for. I needn't have worried. Les had an effective and efficient system, we had a small band of willing volunteers from the churches and most importantly fantastic support from the town, both businesses and individuals. Toys and other presents kept rolling in, until the front space of our church was full of goodies. In the two days of distribution, we saw some very happy faces - we were able to provide gifts for over 50 children, and there was enough left for me to take plenty of gifts to a women's refuge and brighten their Christmas, too.

It was a bit manic at times, fitting everything in, but that's normal for that time of year, so what the heck! We felt that we were part of something special, and we couldn't have done it without the generosity of so many. Thank you all ever so much for your help and support - together, we made a difference.