“Christmas will always be as long as we stand heart to heart and hand in hand” – Dr. Seuss
What an incredible day. Today was the #SantaStork2017 giving day. It really does get more extraordinary every single year.
We started early and loaded up all the gifts that we’d collected thanks to your support.
Lots of cars and a van were loaded up and taken to the hall we’d booked for our giving day.
Thanks to all your help, generosity and support, we were ready to pass out gift bags filled to the brim with goodies for 874 children and 385 of their parents and carers – isn’t that fantastic!
UPDATE: including the last minute requests we were able to give out gift bags for 1040 children and 438 of their parents and carers.
The referral sources we work with came and collected the presents they’d requested for the families they support. All the presents were brand new and, in almost all cases, were items that the family or children has specifically requested.
Goods valuing £38,000 have been distributed, and they were sent with the very best wishes from everyone involved in supporting the campaign.
We were delighted to welcome Cllr Barbara Thomson and show her the wrapping day in full flow!
It was humbling to talk to the professionals about the difference the gifts would make; professionals who are supporting vulnerable local families all year around. We heard so many stories about how the gifts being collected were literally the only things the children would receive on Christmas Day.
Without Santa Stork, and your kindness, these local children wouldn’t be receiving anything.
We had a full house of ‘wrapping elves’ today, with help from a record number of people. It was so good to see lots of regular Stripey Stork faces, as well as plenty of new ones, particularly from some of the corporate teams who’ve helped us with our collections this year.
We’re very grateful to those who took time out of their busy schedule to come and lend a hand. You can’t beat #TeamStork for team spirit and there was a wonderful atmosphere in the hall.
We were also delighted to be speaking with That’sTV Surrey today who kindly came along to see the culmination of #SantaStork2017 after they featured our launch back in October.
You can watch their feature here:
We were also featured on BBC Radio Surrey this morning on this link, which if you go to 1 hour 23 minutes you’ll hear Chief Elf Lauren speaking about Nicola setting up the charity and explaining about Santa Stork.
Of course none of this was possible without the support we received from so many:
- All of our supporters who donated online, shopped from our Amazon wish list, or went out and bought a present using our suggested gifts. Your generosity is humbling – THANK YOU!
- All our wonderful referral sources who made a request and then who collected and distributed gifts
- Localgiving and their #GrowYourTenner match funding scheme. We raised an additional £580 which effectively meant new presents for an extra 50 children!
- Cllr Barbara Thomson for her Surrey County Council community grant which covered rental of the storage space we needed to run the project and the purchase of gift bags
- In Kind Direct and Disney Store UK for the 48 Olaf soft toys as part of the #GiftMagic campaign
- Andy Nash and the team at the Belfry for helping at the giving day, including us to benefit from the Santa’s Grotto charity donations, providing gifts for Santa Stork and allowing us to promote the charity in the centre via wrapping days and being at the big Christmas light switch on with James and Ola!
- Celtic Contractors Ltd who got involved for the 4thyear. All 40 staff purchased gifts in their now annual collection.
- Oakhyrst Grange School who collected toys at their school fair
- The parents at Holmesdale Community Infant School who collected stocking fillers
- Dunnottar School who raised over £300 to buy presents from our Amazon wishlist
- Our friends at Halliwell Marks, Walter & Mair, Pistachios Memorial Park, Redhill, TSB in The Belfry, and Let’s Explore, Horley who were so accommodating in allowing people to drop off presents at their premises
- The talented Shona Gow who produced the Santa Stork Activity Pack and Thank You Certificate available to all those who donated online or bought a gift, and our lovely Christmas card
- Caterham WI who collected gifts and purchased stocking fillers with the proceeds of the raffle. They also provided volunteers for the wrapping weekend at The Belfry.
- Karl Hyder, AKA the man and a van! who helped bring the gifts from HQ to the wrapping location on the day
- Allianz Global Assistance UK – helped with wrapping gifts and staff raised £256.02
- Luxury beauty brand Jurlique who generously donated 300 products for mums with a value of £9660
- Redhill and Reigate Round Table no.119 who kindly made a donation of £500
- All Things Chic – proceeds from Red Barn shopping event raised enough to buy 20 items on our wish list
- Mila and Mateo who sold Halloween glowsticks after school raising £56 which we used to buy 180 packs of chocolate coins
- Milk + Poop who created a Black Friday shopping deal which meant we received a lovely box of brightly coloured cuddly toys and cellular blankets
- The ladies from Pfizer who helped sort presents on their volunteer day and who gathered their teams together at their offices in a campaign to generously donate selected age group’s gifts
- Bailhache Linton who made a donation in lieu of sending Christmas cards and helped out in the office during a CSR day
- Willis Towers Watson who came to sort through gifts during two CSR days
- Metro Bank – sorting gifts at CSR day
- IHS Markit, Coulsdon who helped prepare gift bags and who also collected lots of gifts and stocking fillers
- M&S Redhill who chose Stripey Stork as their annual charity and held an instore staff collection for Santa Stork 2017
- Horley Tangent who donated time at the wrapping days in The Belfry and held a shopping evening raising £700
- Corrine Yates and family who bought, raised money and collected so many items from Southern Housing
- That’s TV Surrey for featuring our story
- Horley Evening WI for their cheque for £160
- RBBC Town Hall who took delivery of all the Amazon parcels from the wish list and delivered them to us
- Bargains4Ever Redhill – contributing toys and allowing us to purchase items at cost price
- The Local Handyman for donating online and buying chocolate section boxes
- Emilia Hunt who donated some of her beautiful hand made fabric goods
- Redhill Confetti who donated craft packs for some of the children
- Esure who donated gifts and stocking fillers
- 3FEV who donated specific Tesla items for a young fanatic on our list!
- Tim’s Pastry Club who donated treats for the wrapping tables – yum!
- Nicola Churchill from Co-Tribe who held a collection and donated some gifts
- The communications team at Grant Thornton International who helped with campaign planning and with getting videos ready to share on our social media channels
- Tesco Community Champions who organised an in-store collection of gifts which was generously supported by Tesco Gatwick shoppers
- The team at the PNL Centre, St Joseph’s Church Hall for making us so welcome and for allowing us to use the hall as a discount rate
- And finally… our amazing Santa Stork team of volunteers – Jenny, Margarida, Nicola, Megan, Angie, Emma, Lisa, Andrea, Sarah C, Sarah S all ably led by Chief Elf Lauren.
Merry Christmas everyone xx