Give a child a Christmas gift

Gifts can be left at the Salvation Army shop

Gifts can be left at the Salvation Army shop

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A local church and charity is making sure about 150 children in Hemel will wake up to presents on Christmas Day.

Hemel Hempstead Salvation Army is encouraging people to add an extra toy to their shopping list, so families struggling to buy a gift for their children can make sure there is a small surprise under their Christmas tree this year.

Church leader Captain Marie Burr said: “During the festive season, when many are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet.Our team of volunteers will be out delivering your generous Christmas gifts to those who might otherwise go without.

“The Christmas story inspires us as a church to reach out to those in need, so we’re running the Christmas Present Appeal to ensure every child gets a present.”

People are invited to drop off a new, unused gift for a child aged from newborn to 16 at the Salvation Army Church in Waterhouse Street, or the Salvation Army shop or Superdrug, both in the Marlowes, by December 18.

The Salvation Army will then wrap the gifts and distribute them to children and families in the area.

Captain Burr said: “Last year we delivered around 150 presents to families in need. It’s wonderful to see children’s faces light up when they open their Christmas presents. We’re asking for brand new toys or gifts, so the families we support feel extra special.”

Food items and used products cannot be accepted.

Captain Burr is also asking for donations of new sleeping bags for people who are homeless. The Salvation Army at Hemel Hempstead offers a drop-in service, where homeless people can come in and wash, have hot drinks and a snack. New sleeping bags can be donated direct to the Salvation Army Church hall.

For more information, call Captain Burr on 01442 253607.