A MINI launch took place to signal the start of a Christmas appeal which can make a big difference to many youngsters come the big day.
Rotherham Toy Appeal sees donated gifts handed to parents selected through a referral process — ensuring their children have something to open on December 25.
The appeal, run by charity Families First, would usually begin with a big event at Parkgate Shopping, one of the main partners and supporters.
Janet Drury, the retail park’s manager, said: “Due to the new lockdown rules, we were unable to do our traditional launch.
“We are determined however, with the support of the local community, local businesses and our partners, the Rotherham Advertiser, our new local radio station RB1, and Rotherham United, to provide a Christmas to young people across the borough in these difficult times.
“The generosity of our supporters last year helped us to provide for 1,600 young people last year and we anticipate an even greater demand in 2020.”
With lockdown meaning fewer shoppers on the streets, a crowdfunding page has been launched to support the appeal.
You can visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rotherhamtoyappeal2020 to send money — and leave the present purchasing to the appeal “elves”.
Janet said: “We understand that many people may be self-isolating or feeling vulnerable and may be unable to visit us as regularly as previously.
“This gives our supporters the opportunity to make a donation rather than to bring a gift to Parkgate Shopping.
“Alternatively, if you are at Parkgate you can take a tag from our giving trees around the shopping park and buy a gift for a Rotherham child.
“Hand it in at any of our shops who can trade and our Parkgate Elves will collect and collate them for the various agencies who distribute the gifts on our behalf.”
You can also drop off your gift at the Advertiser office in Rotherham Town Centre, with our prize draw voucher, to be in with a chance of winning £100 Parkgate Shopping vouchers, a digital radio from RB1 or a signed RUFC shirt.