Toy appeal benefits hundreds

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Hundreds of children will be opening their eyes to an exciting gift under their tree tomorrow morning.

Our readers have pulled together to help make the Express Christmas Toy Appeal 2013 the best one yet. Boxes full of toys and a total of £735 were donated to our annual campaign by local residents and businesses.

The appeal was supported by the Asda Yorkshire Distribution Centre, South Elmsall – which generously handed over a number of gifts for needy and neglected youngsters.

South Elmsall Town Council raised £385 through a raffle, with help from resident Paul Jolly. Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Hemsworth, and St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Moorthorpe, donated £350, which was raised through the Christmas advent collection.

The appeal was also backed by Hemsworth Town Council and Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett, who both donated toys. Both town councils, Sainsbury’s in South Elmsall and Asda provided drop-off points so that readers and staff were able to donate their gifts easily.

Last week, the Express delivered the toys and cash to Wakefield Council’s Hemsworth-based family support team, which has spent the last few days working hard to hand the gifts out in time for Christmas morning. The toys were all given to needy and neglected children throughout the south east of the district.

Appeal co-ordinator Gemma Jimmison said: “We have, yet again, been overwhelmed by the generosity of our readers. We would like to thank everyone who donated a toy – you have all helped to bring joy into a child’s Christmas this year.

“The appeal has been supported by an unprecedented amount of businesses and local councils and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped. We would also like to thank staff at the family support team for their hard work dishing out all the presents. We hope the children enjoy their gifts and have a fantastic Christmas Day.”