2:00pm Tuesday 25th December 2012
By Jill Harding
PRESENTS donated by kind-hearted Journal readers have brought Christmas cheer to hundreds of people.
We asked you to bring in wrapped gifts for men, women and children who would otherwise have very little this Christmas, and once again your generosity showed how caring people in Salisbury can be.
The Journal’s Christmas appeal has been running for more than 20 years and lets people who are homeless, lonely or living troubled lives know that someone, somewhere is thinking about them.
On Thursday representatives from the charities that distribute the gifts came to the Journal’s office to collect sacks of beautifully wrapped presents.
They were distributed at Christmas parties and lunches or delivered to the homes of people who are living alone and would otherwise have nothing to unwrap at all.
Chairman of Salisbury Trust for the Homeless Gordon Pardy said: “There are many causes of homelessness from relationship breakdown to poor health, from an institutional background to alcohol and substance abuse.
“Gestures of kindness and generosity, such as the donation of these Christmas gifts from members of the public, really encourage our clients to endeavour to rebuild their lives and return to independent living.”
Some of the youngest recipients of the presents were the tiny tots who are part of Alabare Christian Care’s mother and baby project.
Six young mums and their babies were handed the gifts at a special tea party.
“They wouldn’t really get much if it wasn’t for these presents,” said Jenny Mark from Alabare.
“They are really excited about it and it will make Christmas seem more real.”
Elderly and isolated people living in Wilton were given the presents at a Christmas Day Lunch organised by churches in the town.
The event has been held for more than 20 years and gives people, who would otherwise be alone, somewhere to enjoy a traditional Christmas meal.
“Some of them wouldn’t have anything if it wasn’t for these gifts as they are on their own,” said Marion Powell of Wilton Christmas Day Lunch.
“Another 15 presents will be delivered to people who are housebound so that they don’t miss out.”
The gifts also brought festive cheer to vulnerable people living in Dunraven and Tower House in Salisbury.
“This makes their Christmas,” said John O’Connor-Marsh from the charity.
“We are very grateful to everyone who brought in a gift.”
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group