Knutsford couple kick off The Toy Appeal for 5th year
Run by Dee Drake and her husband Chris, The Toy Appeal began five years ago to provide children in Cheshire, Manchester and Lancashire with a sack of toys this Christmas.
The toys are distributed to families of children who would otherwise have nothing or very little to open on Christmas morning, following requests from schools and social workers.
Dee said: “We make up each sack for a specific child with their name, gender and age – and we consider any special needs the child has. Chris and I do this in our spare time from our home, and we have loads of volunteers involved. We make up the toy sacks in December in Knutsford with 200 volunteers. Chris and friends then deliver the toy sacks to schools and social workers, ready to give to the families in time for Christmas.”
Each child receives a red sack filled with around 8 items including a main present such as a Lego set, a doll or a skateboard, stocking fillers, a teddy, football/netball/sports item, two boots, arts and crafts item and a board game.
The couple collect new toys all year round, with local shops and businesses showing their support by acting as toy collection points. They also fundraise to buy additional toys, with each toy sack costing approximately £25 each.
In their first year of The Toy Appeal, Dee and Chris distributed 447 toy sacks and it looks like this year they will be creating and sending 3,000-4,000 throughout the local area.
Dee added: “We love what we do. We couldn’t have children, so this fills a big gap in our lives and we absolutely love it.”
For more information, including drop off points, visit www.thetoyappeal.com
If you’d like to donate to support the The Toy Appeal, please visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/TheToyAppeal