With the countdown to Christmas well underway we’re delighted to report that our 2019 Dear Santa Christmas appeal has turned hundreds of wishes into reality this Christmas for children affected by crime across the UK.
Dear Santa has captured the hearts of the nation and thanks to your support, hundreds of young victims of crime across the UK will wake up on Christmas morning to a special gift funded by a stranger through our charity appeal.
Dear Santa is the name of Embrace’s Christmas campaign where the public are invited to buy an extra gift for a child or young person who, because of crime, had little to look forward on 25 December.
Children who may have suffered trauma as a result of sexual abuse, domestic violence, neglect, or who may have lost a loved one to crime are nominated by law enforcement and safeguarding professionals to receive a Dear Santa gift.
For many of the children we helped this year, this would be their only gift.
Gift ‘wish lists’ are created by the charity who work with the family and posted on a popular online retailer’s site. They then promote the scheme to reach the public and ask them to either buy a gift from the list or, if they prefer, to make a donation.
The value of Christmas gifts and donations this year is expected to top £50,000.
Tablets and Lego toys were the most popular requested gifts by child victims of crime this year, reports the national children’s charity, Embrace.
All kinds of toys and gifts were requested by youngsters from low income families who had suffered following a serious crime but the mini-computers and Lego topped the lists.
Chief Executive, Anne Campbell, said: “We’ve been blown away by the generosity of the public who have answered our call to buy an extra gift and bring a smile to a child less fortunate.
“Crime affects many more children than most people realise and where it affects single income or low income families, it often means the children in these families miss out.
“We’ve worked this year with families who have suffered some the most heart-breaking cases including domestic violence, knife crime, murdery and sexual abuse – the generosity of our supporters have made sure that these children will be opening a present that they have chosen.
“We thank everyone who has contributed from the bottom of our hearts.”
We’ve been overwhelmed by the support received and gift-wrapping sessions, carried out by around 40 volunteers took place at the Signpost Hub at Bedfordshire Police headquarters, at Copse Court in Peterborough and at Airedale Enterprise Services in Keighly, West Yorkshire.
We know, from the many thank you messages we have received, what a different these gifts made. Here’s an example from one grateful mum: “I just want to say a huge thank you for the gift that arrived for my son last week, we are so grateful. He has been through such a traumatic time and this is a little bit of light amongst the darkness”
With Christmas just around the corner we would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated and supported our Dear Santa Christmas appeal, it really means a lot and without your assistance, we could not have made such a positive impact in bringing joy to some of the most vulnerable children in our communities this Christmas.
Dear Santa 2019 remains open for donations and nominations for Dear Santa 2020 will open in the spring.