Kind-hearted mum Sarah Davies has launched a Christmas toy appeal – with a bit of help from her two-year-old son.
The 28-year-old, from Meir Heath, has experience working with children and vulnerable members of the community.
This year, she decided to ensure every child in the local community wakes up with a toy on Christmas Day.
And her own son Austin has even donated some of his toys to get the appeal rolling.
Sara said: “I have always helped children at Christmas. Normally I’ll create some shoe boxes and hampers which are full of colouring books and activities for children.
“Having had success in previous years with this, I wanted to do a bit more, and so did my partner Matt. We created a Facebook group asking for toy donations and it has really taken off.
“In the past, my partner and I have worked with vulnerable people in society and so we’ve always aspired to do whatever we can to look out for those in the city who need help.
“It has gradually turned into into a full blown appeal with over 700 members. We’ve now had over 100 families get in touch for help, and more than more than toys and other items donated.
“My son Austin has been helping too and even donated some of his own toys!”
Following the impact of Covid-19, which has meant that many families have faced unprecedented financial difficulties, Sarah knew that some people would need that extra bit of support at what is traditionally the most expensive time of the year.
“Everyone needs support at least once in their life,” she added. “I wanted to try to make a difference this year, especially with Covid-19 and the numbers of redundancies in the area that we’ve suffered recently.”
“Every donated item would probably have ended up in a tip or the attic, so it’s great that they’re going to families that will take joy in them and bring happiness this Christmas. This year has been awful and it’s nice to do something that will have a positive impact.
“Positivity is important in such difficult times, especially at Christmas. Every family has their own story and some have been very difficult to read.
“So far, the reactions of families we have been able to help have been amazing and they are just really grateful and excited.
“Covid has shattered the lives of many people but, hopefully by next Christmas, we will be getting back into a more stable position all around the country.
“I would like to thank the community for their donations so far, and Fords of Blythe Bridge for giving us the free container to store everything in. Also thank you to my helpers who have worked tirelessly to collect toys and eventually help to distribute them.
“After an awful year, this has made us so proud to be Stokies, especially when we see a shipping container full of toys happily donated to families who have been under difficult circumstances.
“It’s great to see the community spirit is alive and well in the city, and surrounding areas.”
Sarah and her team of helpers have closed toy donations now, but they are still accepting chocolate donations, wrapping paper and gift bags. If you’d like to help, you can check out her Facebook group.