Staff at the college make £1650 contribution to Christmas Present Appeal
Staff at Plymouth College of Art have been taking part in the Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal this year, raising £1650 to spend on toys and gifts for children who might not otherwise receive a Christmas gift.
The Christmas Present Appeal by the Salvation Army is an annual appeal that requests donations of new, unwrapped toys and gifts for children aged 0 - 17 who otherwise would not have anything to open on Christmas Day.
On hearing about the appeal from another colleague, Sharon Woods, Senior Estates Steward, and her Estates team decided to use this year’s Secret Santa money to instead buy toys for the Christmas Present appeal. Thinking others might want to get involved, Charlie Ross from the Front of House team sent out an all-staff email, with donations coming in quick and fast from all departments in the college, raising the funds to £450. Sarah Hyatt, Head of Facilities, then asked for some further contributions from local contractors and associates, securing further donations from Classic Builders, H&I Builders and KK Controls, bringing the amount to a massive £1450. A final donation of £200 from The Entertainer Toy Shop based in Drake Circus brought the total to a grand £1650!
Sharon said, “We normally do a Secret Santa within the team, but when an email from a colleague came through asking for donations to the Christmas Present Appeal, we thought we’d put our spending money towards this lovely cause. The thought of children waking up on Christmas morning with nothing was simply heartbreaking.
“We initially raised £35 within the Estates team, but then I spoke to Charlie and the rest is history! I was so emotional as we saw the pot growing and seeing the generosity from the Plymouth College of Art staff and our associates, KK Controls, Classic Builders and H&I Builders. The staff at each store we visited were incredible, especially those from The Entertainer Toy Shop as they boosted our fund with an extra £200 and assisted with the shopping. A massive thank you goes out to everyone who contributed to this worthy cause. You’ve all helped put a smile on a lot of children’s faces this Christmas!”
Charlie said, “When Sharon mentioned the idea to me, I knew I wanted to get involved. I would never want children going without at any time, let alone at Christmas! I pride myself in having a big mouth and a persistent nature, so I made sure no stone was left unturned. I never dreamed we could get to this amount, but I'm so proud of our amazing staff and associates for their generosity. I have always been proud to work at Plymouth College of Art but this is on another level!”
Sharon visited toys shops in the area on Friday 4 December to spend the donation money, assisted by staff at Claire’s, Debenhams and The Entertainer Toy Shop who also offered 20% off all products as a gesture towards their incredible fundraising.
Plymouth and South Hams Salvation Army have had over 700 children referred to the appeal in the area this year, with millions across the country benefiting from the gifts and funds donated to the Salvation Army year on year.