As the cost of living crisis continues, The Salvation Army, located in the Isle of Man Business Park, is supporting families in need over the festive season by ensuring that no child in the island will wake up without a present on Christmas Day.
Last year the church and charity’s appeal supported 452 children with present parcels, which totalled approximately 3,500 toys.
The Salvation Army said that as more families are being pushed into poverty amid the cost of living crisis, this year demand is expected to surpass that figure.
The organisation is encouraging people to add an extra toy to their shopping list so that families struggling to buy a gift for their children can ensure there is something for them to open on Christmas Day.
Captain Rachael Nieuwoudt, church leader of The Salvation Army in the island, said: ‘Christmas is usually a time of joy but with the ongoing cost of living crisis and adding to that the continued rise in the prices of energy, we’re already seeing an increase in numbers from this time last year as the hardest hit members of our community continue to struggle to make ends meet.
‘We have no doubt that the need this year for support will be greater than we have seen before and in the challenging times that people are facing, there will certainly be people that will struggle this Christmas.’
The appeal runs throughout November with a request for new, unwrapped toys and gifts to be dropped at a number of collection points around the island.
Branches of the Isle of Man Bank, main Shoprite stores, and The Entertainer in the Strand Shopping Centre are all accepting donations.
Ms Nieuwoudt added: ‘Donating a gift will go a long way to making a child’s Christmas that little bit brighter and allows us as an organisation to support those that are most in need.
‘No parent wants their child to go without on Christmas Day but for many this will be the reality and everyone working together to support our community is what the Christmas story inspires us to do.’
Gifts for the Christmas Present Appeal should be appropriate for children and young people, aged zero to 16 years old.
The Salvation Army will then sort and distribute the gifts to children and families in the area through its own networks, local charities, schools and social services.
Last year also saw The Salvation Army provide more than 1,000 people with food parcels or food vouchers and supported 39 members of the community with a community meal on Boxing Day.