#SantaStork2017 is our fourth Christmas campaign, and it gets bigger and bigger each year. So many families and companies support this festive giving so we thought we’d share how it all runs behind the scenes, what happens and when.
This year it began in early September when we booked the hall for the wrapping day. Once we have the date and venue set we know that we are ready to go.
We launched the campaign to our referral sources and to all of you on 17th October to coincide with the LocalGiving #GrowYourTenner campaign. This is a great opportunity to secure match finding and a way for us to have the purchasing power to secure discounts. We’ve been promoting Santa Stork in our emails and on social media since then until the cut off date at the start of December.
During this time, our referral sources submitted the requests for the families they’re working with.
- Requests for the family with multiple young siblings where the Mum felt she had to tell the older ones they wouldn’t be receiving any gifts this year
- Gifts for the school children whose support worker explained that without Santa Stork the children would probably only receive new socks for Christmas
- Items for the mums and children staying in the local Refuge this Christmas who arrived with just the clothes they were wearing
All of them in need and thoroughly deserving of a gift to make them smile this Christmas.
When we receive the specific requests (and we like them to tell us exactly what the children would like!), we enter an appropriate gift onto the Amazon wish list. The wish list has been very popular this year with support from people far and wide. In fact it emptied itself several times thanks to your generosity!
We also shared details of present requests with some of the local businesses who wanted to get involved. Companies of all sizes from The Local Handyman, to Celtic Contractors to Pfizer, but who all share the common aim of wanting to support those most in need in their community this Christmas.
Families also got their children involved in choosing gifts and there were a number of local drop off points who kindly stored the gifts for us until we could collect.
A community coming together to help others as Christmas.
Once the gifts arrive, our volunteers have the fun task of matching them with the original request. A gift bag is then made up and not only does is contain the main present but also stocking fillers such as stationery, toiletries, small toys, books and chocolates. A really lovely selection of items that we’re proud to give out.
The bags are then all stored ready for Giving Day!
On the morning of Giving Day, with the help of several vehicles including ‘man with a van’ Karl Hyder, the presents are transferred to the hall. They are all lined up in code order and referral source, and our wonderful volunteers wrap them in batches according to pick up time.
Becoming Santa Stork Elves for the day, the volunteers are generally dressed in a festive theme, complete with elf toolkit (scissors, tape and pen) ready to get the job done!
The atmosphere is always great, with Christmas music on the radio and plenty of coffee and mince pies to keep everyone going. We have visitors like the local newspaper and the Mayor, and everyone is always amazed at the scale of what we are able to achieve.
Once the referral sources start to arrive we handover the gifts complete with a folder which details exactly what presents are enclosed, and little extras like gift tags and even battery packs to make sure no playing time is wasted on the big day itself!
The referral sources then have the fun task of playing Santa and delivering the gifts directly to the families in plenty of time for Christmas Day.
Every year, Santa Stork becomes bigger and bigger, having a greater impact on families in need within our local community and we are so proud of what it achieves. We want to say an enormous thank you to all of you who help, by giving time, by donating gifts, donating online and who support us in our fundraising activities.
You are the reason we can do the things we do, and we appreciate you as part of #TeamStork.
We are really excited about Giving Day this year and we will be reporting on the event during the day. Be sure to follow us on social media on Wednesday 13th December and the days afterwards.