Mission: Make Christmas Possible

‘Tis the season to be merry – but for many children living below the poverty line in Northern Ireland, only disappointment awaits at the foot of the Christmas tree. Which is why ‘Cash for Kids’ charity kicked off its festive campaign this week with sponsors Harry Corry. ‘Mission Christmas’ is a nationwide gift donation drive which will see all 22 branches of Harry Corry and 220 others businesses across Northern Ireland act as “drop off points” for the public to donate a gift for a disadvantaged child. Omagh Enterprise Centre is also a “drop off point”.

Cash for Kids Charity Manager, Darren Fowler explains:

“It is estimated that nearly 1 in 10 children in Northern Ireland live in severe poverty and in some areas this is as high as 1 in 4, twice the UK average*. This is such a special time of the year and Mission Christmas is all about trying to give children in desperate need the chance of having a normal, happy Christmas. We’re looking for donations of new toys, clothes, games – anything which would put a smile of a kid’s face on Christmas morning!”

Mark Corry of campaign sponsors Harry Corry added, “We all have special memories of waking up to gifts on Christmas morning and we’d ask everyone to bear them in mind this year and think about what memories some less fortunate children will make this Christmas without our help.”

Last year the campaign helped to deliver a ‘Christmas for over 2650 children in Northern Ireland but Campaign Manager Darren Fowler expects the demand this year to be greater than ever:

“In 2011 we had just 1200 applications for gifts,” Darren adds. “Last year this had more than doubled to 2600 and we’re expecting a significant increase in applications again this year. While the green shoots of an economic recovery seem to be showing through for business, the recovery doesn’t seem to be filtering down to the most vulnerable families in our community.”

Anyone who wants to donate a gift can go to Omagh Enterprise Centre. The gifts will be collected and sorted by age before being distributed to lists of local children. Anyone interested in getting help from this campaign can apply through a governing body or registered charity (more details on how to apply for a gift can be found on the website). Cash donations can also be made online, in person or over the phone by calling 028 9181 5555; all donations will make sure no child who has applied to Cash for Kids for Support in Northern Ireland goes without this Christmas.