The Entertainer has partnered with The Salvation Army to launch a campaign to give as many underprivileged children as possible the joy of opening a present on Christmas day.
The Big Toy Appeal encourages customers to pick up an extra toy to donate when they visit The Entertainer stores or shop online at TheToyShop.com – and for every toy donated, The Entertainer will also donate a toy, doubling the number of donations.
Online shoppers will be able to join the appeal by adding a gift to their basket.
The initiative has been launched off the back of recent government statistics that revealed that some 4.1m children are currently living in poverty, which is the equivalent to nine children in every classroom of 30.
Providing Christmas presents for children can place additional pressure on families where budgets are already incredibly stretched with many families turning to charities like The Salvation Army for support; using food banks and other donations to help them through the Christmas period.
In 2018, an average week saw around 5,690 people attend a Salvation Army lunch club, around 13,000 children visit a Salvation Army centre for activities like play groups, and around 4,000 young people attend Salvation Army outreach clubs.
Over the Christmas period The Salvation Army gave out at least 5,000 emergency food parcels to people in need, and through the partnership between The Salvation Army and The Entertainer, over 40,000 gifts were distributed to children who might otherwise not receive anything at Christmas.
Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, said: “At The Entertainer we believe that every child deserves the gift of play. The Big Toy Appeal is all about making Christmas Day easier for those families who struggle at Christmas by providing toys to open on the big day.
“For every toy donated, The Entertainer will also donate a toy. Toy donations will then be distributed into the community via The Salvation Army for families who need our help the most. We encourage anyone who can afford to take part to donate a toy so we can help as many families as possible together.”
Tony Daniels, director for community services for The Salvation Army, added: “During the festive season, many people will enjoy celebrating with their friends and family, sharing gifts together. But while for some this is a happy time of year, for others, things are a real struggle, with the choice being to provide their children with food or with a gift.
“The Entertainer’s Big Toy Appeal is a fantastic opportunity for local communities to join with us in helping people in need at Christmas time and to spread a little joy to children who might otherwise not receive any presents.”
The Big Toy Appeal will run from November 1 to 16 2019 in all 170 stores nationwide.