Christmas is cancelled! Manchester business scraps office festivities to donate gifts to needy children

By Helen Le Caplain

A Manchester business is cancelling Christmas for its workers… and is instead donating all the Secret Santa presents to disadvantaged children across Manchester and Salford.

Kind-hearted staff at WWB Recruitment have decided to forgo their usual Secret Santa gifts and have instead pledged to spend their money on presents for children via Wood Street Mission.

Finance Recruiter Kerri-Ann Hargreaves is organising the donations which will be sent to the Manchester charity.

She said: “Our focus this year has been to have a charitable angle to any events we’ve been doing – we’re just trying to add value to charities in our community.

“We did Caketober and donated the money to Forever Manchester and now we’re raising money or helping a different charity out each month.

“One of the girls in the office came up with the idea of instead of doing Secret Santa and spending a tenner on each other, instead we’ll buy a gift for children in Manchester and Salford who are in poverty.”

Most children spend Christmas morning in a state of giddy excitement feverishly unwrapping gifts and leaving a trail of paper strewn across the room.

But for more than 3,700 children across Manchester and Salford who are affected by poverty, they face a bleak prospect of waking up to nothing.

Every December, since Wood Street Mission was founded back in 1869, the project has helped children and families affected by poverty at Christmastime. 

They help ease the strain on struggling parents and ensures that no child goes without over the festive period.

Ms Hargreaves said that the response they’ve had so far has been overwhelming.

GENEROUS: WWB Recruitment team are donating gifts to Wood Street Mission 

She explained:  “We advertised it in the building and have already had people dropping gifts off. Each time I do a shout on Twitter another gift comes along, it’s great!

“It feels nice to be able to give something to those who will wake up on Christmas morning either homeless or in poverty with no presents to open.

“There are eight of us in the team and we have yet to buy but already have about ten presents ready for collection – we’re hoping to get as many businesses as possible in this building to get involved as well.

“But even if we just get 30 gifts that’s 30 children who will get at least one present this Christmas.”

PRESENT HAUL: Just some of the gifts already collected by the company

A Wood Street Mission spokesman said: “Last Christmas we distributed new toys and gifts to 4,104 local children all of whom are affected by poverty.

“In addition 1,891 local families each received a large Christmas food hamper – this was our largest ever Christmas project to date.

“The presents we give the families are new as we want the child to feel no different from any other children opening their gifts on Christmas morning.”

Gifts are being collected for boys and girls from 0 to 13 and should not be wrapped.

All presents must be new, with nothing large or electrical, and will be collected by the charity at the latest on December 6.

First picture courtesy of formatc1 via Flickr, with thanks

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