The Entertainer, the fastest-growing, family-owned high street toy retailer in the UK, has partnered with The Salvation Army to launch The Big Toy Appeal to ensure as many children as possible have a gift to open this Christmas.
Running from Tuesday 27th November until Saturday 8th December, The Entertainer will donate a toy for every toy bought and donated to The Big Toy Appeal in any of its 158 stores or via its online platform. Gifts will be distributed using local Salvation Army centres to families who might not otherwise be able to afford to put Christmas presents under the tree for their children.
Together with the help of its customers, The Entertainer hopes to put a smile on the faces of thousands of children this festive season and is encouraging consumers to pick up an extra gift for a less fortunate child, with The Entertainer doubling the total number of donations.
Gary Grant, Founder and Executive Chairman of The Entertainer comments, “It’s heart breaking to think of so many children across the UK who won’t experience the magic of waking up to find a present waiting for them. Also, to think of their parents who will miss out on watching their face light up as they open it. That’s why we’re encouraging our customers to consider buying an extra present during their Christmas shopping to donate to a family in need via The Salvation Army. This will then be matched by The Entertainer allowing us to work together to transform Christmas for families who are really struggling across the country.”
Tony Daniels, Territorial Director for Community Services said: “The Christmas Present Appeal is an opportunity for local communities to join with us in helping people in need at Christmas time. During the festive season, when many people are enjoying celebrations with friends and family, others are struggling to make ends meet. That’s why we are absolutely delighted that The Entertainer and its customers are generously supporting us this year.
“Christmas is an important time for The Salvation Army, but our work carries on all year round, providing a huge variety of support and care to people within many local communities across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Being at the heart of local communities and inviting them to partner with us to make a difference and a positive impact is what we strive for all year round.”
“When I was 12, I started attending The Salvation Army’s kids club. They became my friends and my family – my relationships at home weren’t very good and when I was 17, I had to move into a hostel. Now I’m 36 with four children – two girls (15 and 12 years old) and two boys (6 and 4).
“I always knew The Salvation Army worked extra hard at Christmas, but I became more aware of the toy appeal when my girls were young.
“There is that pressure to make Christmas special by spending money. The kids go to school and want the same as their friends and what they see on the telly. Every toy that’s in the shop window – ‘I like that one as well’ – suddenly there’s this giant list. Their expectations of Christmas are always so different to my expectations – they’re children after all. I just always think about what we need to just get through Christmas. My boys think anything is possible – Father Christmas can always help.
“I am so grateful that The Salvation Army has always remembered us. The hamper arrives mid-December, but I don’t let them open their presents until Christmas Day. I hide them away, wrap them up and put some in their stockings and under the tree.
“I know that if I haven’t got a lot or am struggling, they will help me make sure the children get something for Christmas. It’s so reassuring.” The partnership with The Salvation Army builds on The Entertainer’s ongoing charitable initiatives which includes donating 10% of its pre-tax annual profits to charity and has resulted in over £1.3m in donations last year*, encouraging customers to donate change through the Pennies scheme and employee donations through Payroll Giving of which 49% of colleagues are currently involved.
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