For those of you who follow the Lakeland 50 & 100 on social media, you will be well aware of the funds raised and donated to charity on a daily basis. Our Epic Kidz charity, funded by Lakeland 50 & 100 and Epic Events started as a way to fund children in sport and has now grown into all things community based.
You may well remember last year that we organised our Christmas toy appeal for children in the Blackpool area. We spoke to the Salvation Army who contribute a lot to the area and the conversation went something along the lines of…
“Hi Tina, is there anything you need this year?”
“Some toys would be good and other things for presents. As well as those who come to us on the day, social services have given us a list of local children who won’t get any gifts at all on Christmas day, so we’re planning to buy some ‘Santa sacks’ and put 5 or 6 little gifts in there, so we can distribute them… so they’ve got something to open on Christmas morning”.
“Cool, I can help with that, so how many are we talking?”
“We’re not sure, the initial list from social services is 1,600 children in our vicinity, but it’s likely to be more. But we’re starting with 1,600 sacks”.
I’ll let that sink in for a second…. now let’s roll forwards to 2020….
Due to Covid, the demand has increased. The 1600 figure has increased to 2000 and in an ideal world, the Salvation Army would like 3 gifts in each ‘Santa Sack’, which equates to 6000 gifts in total. They do receive collections from local churches etc so we’re not by any means their sole supplier, but that number of gifts is a huge challenge. Having done it once already and having witnessed the difference it made, it’s not really something we can let go.
If you follow our social media pages and you like what we do, then I’m asking you please to return the favour. This is the only time in the whole year that I’ll ask you to reciprocate the charitable donations. There’s over 2000 people in the Lakeland 50 & 100 race this year alone, plus previous and future competitors, so between us, we could make a serious contribution towards those Santa sacks.
Once again we’ll be coordinating the toy / gift collection via our shop, The Endurance Store. We’re asking you to send 1 gift with a value of no more than £5-15. If you’d like to give more, please donate 2 gifts of smaller value rather than 1 of greater value, so each sack can have at least 3 presents and the children have more gifts to open.
Our suggestions are:
Hats, gloves and scarves
Dolls / cars / lego
Teddy bears & toys for 0-3 years
Games / jig saws
Hot water bottle
Gift vouchers (for teens)
Toiletries and perfume (for teens)
This list is not exclusive in any way, any other toys would be gratefully received and any gifts you’ve got lying around the house, we’ll gladly take them.
How will this work?
The easiest way is to order one of the above items on Amazon or preferably a small independent, pay online and put our address as the ‘shipping address’ so it comes direct to us. We’ll sort the items into age categories and then load our van (however many times required) and deliver to Salvation Army in Blackpool. Amazon is really simple but equally, if possible, try to support a small independent as they’re far more likely to be suffering during these times.
*If your school or workplace would like to get involved, then simply arrange a collection with your colleagues and we’ll come and collect from you in our van or we’ll arrange a Parcelforce collection if you could put them all in a big box! Just contact us for details.
*If you’re not in the NW, then why not collect for a charity local to you? Contacting the Salvation Army is a good start point, or your local shelter / food bank.
You don’t need to gift wrap items, as when they’re sorted, the team need to know the gender and the age of the child for which the gift is appropriate.
The Endurance Store Christmas Appeal
308 Mossy Lea Road
It’ll take you 5 minutes to go online and pick something from the list above. Don’t ever think that your single gift won’t make a difference, because it will.
Let’s make this happen again, please share it with your friends and encourage them to help. We’ll keep you updated with the progress.
Merry Xmas to you all