Yesterday was the #SantaStork216 giving day. It is the third year we have ran the campaign and it just gets more special each year!
As a result of all your help and support, we passed out gift bags filled to the brim with goodies for 767 children and 370 of their parents and carers – what a result!
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 nearly £20,000 left the room in just one day, and they were sent with the very best wishes from everyone involved in supporting the campaign.
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 set up a little Christmas tree and across the day it was covered in messages of thanks from those we help.
We had assistance on the day from some of our regular volunteers and supporters, and lots of new ones too! It was great to see so many of our Stripey Stork friends, and we’re very grateful to those that took a day of annual leave or arranged childcare so that they could help out. A fantastic team effort on the day and there was a great atmosphere in the hall.
We also had help from the Elves who visited us from Caterham Children’s Centre!
The Mayor and Mayoress of Reigate and Banstead came to visit and spent time talking to all the volunteers.
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 for specific children. You were all so incredibly generous – THANK YOU!
- The health professionals who spent time identifying those who needed extra support this Christmas, and then collecting and distributing the gifts.
- Raven Housing Trust who awarded us a grant from their Brighter Communities Fund. This allowed us to take on a temporary lease on our old offices so we had the spaced we needed to sort and store the gifts. The grant also allowed us to buy all the gift bags and wrapping paper we needed on the day
- Grant Thornton International who helped us develop a communications and marketing plan for the campaign, and who also produced the videos which we were able to use to promote Santa Stork:
Their team also donated online, and they helped out on giving day.
- Through the LocalGiving #growyourtenner scheme we raised an additional £605 in matched donations which effectively meant new presents for an extra 60 children
- The team at Canon UK who bought gifts from their own Amazon wishlist, collected stocking fillers, printed our labels, Thank You certificates and Activity Packs AND came to help on giving day
- InKind Direct and Disney Store UK who gave us 64 lovely Mickey Mouse toys from their #DisneyStoreFamily scheme
- The Belfry Shopping Centre in Redhill who are supporting us via their Santa Grotto donations, but who also generously passed on gifts at Grotto Opening Day
- The Mayor of Reigate and Banstead, Cllr David Powell who made a donation from his Community Fund which covered most of the Santa Stork operational costs
- Those based at Barclays in Canary Wharf who bought gifts from the Amazon wishlist we set up just for their team
- The team at Celtic Contractors Ltd in Morden who were all matched with children and their requests, and provided a van full of gifts
- The families at Oakhyrst Grange school in Caterham who bought specific gifts for the children on our list
- Our local friends at Willis Towers Watson in Reigate who collected stocking fillers and gifts for mums and dads
- The parents at Holmesdale Community Infant School who collected stocking fillers
- The team from South East Early Help Hub who collected stocking filler items in their office and passed them on to be included in the gift bags; lovely to have this support from those we work with throughout the year
- The partners at Bailhache Linton LLP who donated money to Santa Stork 2016 in lieu of sending Christmas cards to their clients.
- Recruitment agency Create Select who made a donation towards Christmas presents
- The ladies of the Jigsaw Group at St Marys Church, Reigate who collected stocking fillers
- The staff at Bear & Bunny Nursery in Charlswood who bought lots of items from our Amazon wishlist
- Our friends at Halliwell Marks estate agents (in Reigate) and Walter & Mair estate agents (in Coulsdon) who were so accommodating in allowing people to drop off presents at their offices
- Belinda and the team at Deli on the Hill who acted as a drop off point for gifts but also contributed gift packs for mums and selection boxes for kids
- Rich (aka The Local Handyman) who both donated online and also bought lots of gifts from the Amazon wishlist
- The ladies from Pfizer who helped sort presents on their volunteer day
- 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.
- Karl Hyder – our local man with a van – who helped transport all the presents to the hall; we certainly needed a large van!
- The team at St Mary’s Church Hall in Reigate who allowed us to take over the reception area as well as the room we had booked
- And a VERY special thanks to Santa Stork team – Jenny, Lauren, Sarah, Megan, Angie and Margarida – who coordinated the whole campaign so well and made sure the giving day went smoothly.
Merry Christmas everyone xx