As the countdown to Christmas continues, many of us have deliberated over the perfect Christmas gifts for the children in our lives. However, for some children, the harsh and heartbreaking reality is, that they may wake up on Christmas morning to no presents at all.
Although the festive period is generally a happy and joyful time for most of us, many face financial hardship and the inability to meet the demands of Christmas. And the crippling effects of the pandemic have only added unbearably to the pressures, with more and more people experiencing bleak times.
On this Giving Tuesday, we share some examples of the impact made by the Celtic Family last year, through the donation of special and heartfelt toys and gifts for a host of children.
As part of last year’s Christmas Appeal, we were able to pass on around 1500 brand new toys to lots of Bhoys and Ghirls, who were the excited beneficiaries of a treasured Christmas gift.
Esther Muchena of Scottish Refugee Council expressed her gratitude for the support received, saying: “The toys brought so much joy to the families we work with that live in poverty. Most of the families we encounter do not have money to buy toys and games for their children after they have purchased food and clothing. Celtic FC Foundation has been a great help throughout the years and we especially appreciate the support at this time of the year.
“Every year new asylum seekers arrive in Glasgow. Our goal is to help all of these families in their new environment and make sure that every child who lives in Scotland is not left behind. For most of the children who received these toys last year, it was their first Christmas in the Scotland and this was the perfect way to make them feel welcome.”
Speaking of the toy donations last year, Mairi McInally-Kier of children’s charity Kids Out said: “The support from Celtic FC Foundation enabled us to distribute brand new toys and other gifts, quietly into the hands of parents and carers so that they (or Santa) could wrap them up for their children, thereby helping to deliver some festive magic, while preserving the dignity and privacy of these families.
“We are all aware that parents and carers will prioritise their children’s happiness over other pressing household demands: we know that, in providing good quality gifts and gift packages, we are going some way towards helping to alleviate some of this stress.
“We have encountered children who would otherwise get little for Christmas, and heard of many more: the children fleeing from domestic violence where safety is the primary focus; the young girls who were hoping that their kinship carer could afford to buy them a simple selection box each; the children whose home and belongings burned down and had to seek urgent shelter just before Christmas. We were able to bring a bit of Christmas cheer to these children thanks to the kind donations received.”
Major Colin Bradshaw of Salvation Army Parkhead, added: “Sadly, last year we saw the number of children referred to us practically double. These are children who would not receive anything at Christmas if it wasn’t for the toys we have been able to distribute.
‘The toys donated by Celtic FC Foundation helped towards making Christmas special for so many local kids.’
“This year has been dramatically impacted by COVID-19. We have seen poverty in East End of Glasgow increase further and we anticipate that the number of children referred to us will increase this Christmas.”
Thanks to the Celtic Family, Christmas became that little bit more magical for so many children in 2019.
Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the subsequent restrictions, we are operating a Virtual Toy Drive through the 2020 Christmas Appeal and you can find more information HERE
Full details on the Christmas Appeal phase of our Football for Good Fund can be found HERE
Thank you for your magnificent support.