Hundreds of you have responded to the annual Christmas Gift appeal by the Hartlepool Mail and the town’s MKM Building Supplies – and we are asking you to make one last effort to help bring a smile to a child's face.
Bosses at MKM Building Supplies, in Burn Road, Hartlepool, have generously committed once again to be the drop off point for donations and hundreds of toys have already been handed in.
Mick Sumpter, co-owner the firm with Lee Dees, said: “The appeal is going well, but we still need that last big push.
"We have so many organisations in Hartlepool relying on the appeal. Besides the toys, we have also been able to put together 100 food hampers which will make a massive difference to some families.
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"Please do what you can support appeal. Let’s make sure every child in Hartlepool wakes up to a gift this Christmas!
Last year the appeal donated over 500 presents after readers were asked to buy one extra gift and donate it to the cause.
All your kind gifts will be distributed to organisations in the town who will pass them on to those most in need in our community and – with the country still in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic - that help has never been needed more.
Mr Sumpter added: "I certainly feel that this year is our most challenging ever. Covid has turned our lives upside down, more families are struggling and, as you can imagine, that has an inevitable knock on effect to children.
"So this year it is our intention to do the very best for Hartlepool families. We know there is a need”
Gary Oliver, Head of Content of the Mail, said: “Every year our readers astound us with their generosity and we hope this year will be no exception.
"We appreciate how difficult times are for many families at the moment and thank you all in advance for the wonderful way in which you respond to our appeal.”
There is no need to break the bank – with small items such as cuddly toys, perfumes and selection boxes just as welcome as bigger items.
Gifts can be donated between 7.30am and 5.30pm from Monday to Friday or from 7.30am to noon on Saturdays at MKM Building Supplies
Gifts should be new and unwrapped when handed over.
Mick Sumpter added: “It’s just great to be part of the appeal, knowing that we are helping people and we enjoy speaking to the people coming in to take the gifts, whether it is to a refuge centre or wherever in the town.
“Over the years we have built up a great rapport with those who come in and they always say how much they appreciate our help, but it is the least I can do.
*Any charities or organisations that would like to be considered for a donation from our toy appeal, can contact MKM Building Supplies on 01429 231500.