Christmas Family Appeal has 15,000 donations target

The Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul (SVP) have launched their annual Christmas Family Appeal.

Running until December 18, it seeks to ensure all disadvantaged children in Northern Ireland have a present to open this Christmas.

At the launch of the 2018 Christmas Family Appeal are (from left):  Ian Campbell, acting director of service operations at Translink; Major Paul Kingscott, divisional leader of the Salvation Army; Archie Kinney, regional vice president of St Vincent de Paul and Denise Watson of U105.

At the launch of the 2018 Christmas Family Appeal are (from left): Ian Campbell, acting director of service operations at Translink; Major Paul Kingscott, divisional leader of the Salvation Army; Archie Kinney, regional vice president of St Vincent de Paul and Denise Watson of U105.

The charities were joined by Translink and U105 who announced their continued support through the ‘Stuff A Bus’ initiative, which last year exceeded its target of 10,000 donations.

Now back for its second year, the organisations are calling on people’s support to stuff a double decker with 15,000 toys and gifts.

Translink has increased drop off points with collection bins in 15 bus and train stations, including Carrick.

Both Gordon’s Chemists and Tesco are placing collection trolleys for the appeal in stores.

Major Paul Kingscott, the Salvation Army’s divisional leader, said: “As a church and charity, we are inspired by the Christmas message to reach out to people in need.  The Family Appeal allows us to help thousands of children and young people in Northern Ireland.

“Our team of volunteers will be working hard to make sure the generous gifts we receive go to

families who might otherwise go without.”

Speaking at the launch, Archie Kinney, regional vice president for SVP, said: “This year it is easier than ever to donate to the Family Appeal with drop off points dotted right across the province; alternatively, gifts can be left at any Salvation Army or SVP location or shop.”

All gifts must be new and unwrapped and the appeal would especially welcome donations for older boys and girls; such as vouchers, board games, selection boxes, and toiletries.

Groups wishing to apply for support from the appeal must do so by 30 November 2018, while individuals have until 14 December.