More than 110,000 children live in poverty in Northern Ireland and the Education Authority is this year ‘giving back’ to help the Christmas Family Appeal with St Vincent de Paul (SVP) and The Salvation Army, so vulnerable children can wake up to a gift on Christmas Day.
This new partnership with SVP and Salvation Army is the first corporate charity initiative for Education Authority and will assist in reaching the ambitious target of 20,000 toy donations set by the charities for 2019.
Robbie McGreevy, Assistant Director of Corporate HR at the Education Authority said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Christmas Family Appeal, which aims to provide thousands of children who live in poverty in Northern Ireland with a present to open this Christmas. This is our first corporate charity initiative, linked to our Health and Wellbeing Strategy, and provides an opportunity for our staff to give back to those families most in need within the local community at Christmas. Over the next few weeks we will be encouraging our staff to support this appeal by donating gifts for children and young people.”
Pauline Brown, Regional Manager, SVP Northern Ireland, said: “As Christmas can actually be the most worrying time of the year for many, we are having to increase the number of toys needed by our charities each year and we are therefore always grateful of any support we receive from corporate organisations to the Christmas Family Appeal. This gesture by Education Authority staff of partnering with us to donate gifts and help reach our Family Appeal target will make a real impact to the lives of those for whom Christmas can be a distressing instead of joyful time.”
Major Paul Kingscott, Divisional Leader, The Salvation Army, Ireland Division, said: "We are delighted that Education Authority have chosen to work with us and SVP to support the Family Appeal and ensure that children receive a gift this Christmas. We appreciate all that they are doing to encourage everyone to buy that extra gift to put a smile on a child's face and show in a practical way love for others. Thank you to everyone at Education Authority for your extra effort this Christmas."
Donations by staff of Education Authority should be made by Friday 13 December and whilst the appeal welcomes donations for older boys and girls such as such as gift vouchers, board games, selection boxes and toiletries, donations are needed from new-born to 16 years. The charities have set an ambitious donation target of 20,000 toys and Education Authority will be accepting gifts at 10 collection points – Antrim, Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Derry~Londonderry, Dundonald, Dungannon, Newry and Omagh – and these gifts will be distributed to children in the local community. All donations must be new and unwrapped.
Nicola Bothwell on behalf of SVP: email@example.com
Martin Donegan, Salvation Army Media Officer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Siobhan Rafferty, Education Authority: Siobhan.email@example.com