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The JCI Secret Santa Appeal is back for 2018

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The JCI Secret Santa Appeal is back for 2018 and is already overwhelmed by the continued support of local businesses and residents to help make Christmas extra special for vulnerable and disadvantaged children who are living across the Bradford District.

The Secret Santa Appeal is organised by members of JCI Bradford supported by Pulse1 and Pulse2 Radio and sponsored by Kirkgate Shopping Centre.

The appeal began in 1989, originally as the Christmas Tree Appeal, and each year since it has continued to grow.  Organisers hope to beat last year’s total when more than 5000 children received a gift on Christmas Day.  For many of the children who receive gifts, it will be the only present they open this year.

The appeal officially launches at the Kirkgate ShoppingCentre on Saturday 24th November, the first of three-weekends at the shopping centre until Sunday 9th December.

Members of the public can go along to the Secret Santa Christmas tree to donate a gift or collect a tag and buy a gift suitable for the child on the tag.

Co-ordinator Michelle Pemberton said: “We work with local charities who provide us with nominations for children they know would benefit from receiving a gift.   Our volunteers write tags for every child ready for someone to buy a gift.  The presents then get distributed to the children by the charities.

“Over the last few years, our appeal has grown more than we could have anticipated.  Not only are more families and children going through hard times at this time of year but we have also found more and more businesses and people are wanting to donate to the appeal.

“For most of us, Christmas is time for fun, indulgence and celebrations. Sadly, for many families in the local area, it is another day which they are living in poverty.  We hope one day our appeal is not needed but until that time comes, our group of volunteers will be here to help.

“We are so grateful to local businesses and residents for their support and kindness every year. I am also thankful for our small and hard-working team who work on the appeal around their full-time jobs and businesses to ensure it all runs smoothly.”

Catherine Riley, centre manager of the Kirkgate Shopping Centre, has once again agreed to sponsor the appeal, she said “The Secret Santa Appeal is something close to the heart of our centre, every year people ask us months in advance when they can drop off their gifts.  In a time when many people are struggling themselves, it’s heartwarming to see such generosity.”

Each year many different organisations get involved in both the running of the appeal but also to run their own workplace mini-appeals.

The appeal runs over three weekends and has drop-off points at Kirkgate Shopping Centre, Bradford, The Mill Outlet, Batley, Queensgate Shopping Centre, Huddersfield and EUREKA, Halifax. JCI Bradford also co-ordinates appeals in Calderdale and Kirklees.

Any individual, company, school or organisation can help by getting in touch via email at: [email protected] or visit the website www.secretsantaappeal.org.uk

November 16, 2018 |

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