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5 Dec 2013

Can you help with operation S.A.N.T.A?

I received this letter from Lieutenant Kenneth Guest from the Salvation Army church on the Oxford Road.  We supported Operation S.A.N.T.A last year (see here) and I am happy to support it again.  I think Kenneth's letter says it all:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen.

For a number of years now The Salvation Army in Reading have launched a Toy Appeal. This year is no different and so we are launching;


Thanks to your fantastic generosity we have been able to distribute 100’s of gifts donated for children who were living in social services care or extreme poverty.

The need to provide for these children is just as great this year (the entirety of the gifts donated to social services and local professionals last year still only scratched the surface) and so I am hoping to help arrange for even more of these children to receive at least one present this Christmas.

Be assured that in addition to the kind donations we receive from members of the public, and collections carried out in your work places, we as Salvationists across the Three corps in Reading, hold a Toy Service, this year it is December 8th at which  our members contribute a colossal amount of toys.

Over the last couple of years we have been able to see the list of children (listed by sex and age from babies to 16 years) for whom gifts are requested.

It struck me (alongside the sadness I felt thinking of any child in such circumstances) that this is a relatively easy and tangible way to make a difference to a child's Christmas and so I wondered if any of you might also like to buy a gift for one of these children.

The presents can be handed in to any Salvation Army Centre in Reading, although Reading West Corps based in the Oxford Road, will be co-ordinating the appeal. We will then hand over the gifts to social services, family workers, children’s centres and health visitors to distribute the gifts to the relevant children thus ensuring that the most needy children receive a present.

If you would like to buy a gift for a child in Reading, then you might like to choose one of these options:

1.   Buy and send a gift to any Salvation Army centre to arrive by 12  December. 

2.   Order a gift online to be delivered to us by 12 December.

3.   Send a donation so that we can buy a gift on your behalf for a specific child

As many of us know, particularly for young children, receiving a present is often not about how much the present is worth but the excitement of having something to open (or a cardboard box to play with!) so really any donation will be appreciated.

Having said that, I do recognise that many people have charities to which they regularly donate and/or this may not be a way in which you would like to contribute, which of course is absolutely fine and I hope you don't mind me asking.

If you would like more information about the Salvation Army in Reading or about our Toy Appeal please don’t hesitate to ring me or email me.

Thank you for the time you have taken to read this letter.

May God Bless You.

Lieutenant Kenneth Guest
Commanding Officer
Reading West Corps

PS – Please do NOT wrap the gifts as this will make it easier for us to allocate the presents.

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