DORSET Echo’s call for Christmas toys this year received a record amount for underprivileged young people.
Over 700 young people will receive a Christmas present this year thanks to the “overwhelming” generosity of benevolent readers and businesses.
A staggering £ 8,348 was received in donations, along with hundreds of toys, to put smiles on the faces of children who would have otherwise been gone without this Christmas.
The final figure exceeds last year’s total of £ 5,432, which was the previous record for donations.
Diarmuid Macdonagh, editor of the regional group, said: “The Dorset Echo has been calling for toys for 22 years, helping put smiles back on underprivileged children in the county over Christmas.
“The past two years have been a struggle for everyone with the Covid pandemic and so it is incredible that we have significantly exceeded the fundraising total this year.
“It makes you proud to be part of a community that is ever so willing to give back to others who are less fortunate despite their own struggles in an uncertain world.
“On behalf of everyone at Dorset Echo, I want to say a huge thank you to each of the kind-hearted people and businesses who have given so generously. You have played a huge role in making a difference for so many children who otherwise would have been without this Christmas. ”
Dozens of companies have supported this year’s campaign with cash donations of between £ 100 and £ 500, including Dorset Showrooms, HCB Trading, Edwards and Keeping, Bladen Social Club, Melcome Regis Rotary Club and Weymouth Town Council. In addition, the appeal was reinforced by kind gifts from readers such as Mr Tebbutt, of Weymouth, who donated toys in honor of his wife.
Other supporters donated toys to collection bins across the county, which were collected by the Weymouth Rotary Club.
A commemorative charity run night in honor of Rotarian Andrew Prowse, who was a big supporter of the toy appeal, raised £ 3,056 for the fund.
Debbie Hellaby, Head of Marketing and Brand Compliance, said, “The team and I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our readers and local businesses.
“Considering the hardships everyone has experienced over the past 18 months, we expected the call for toys to be a challenge and we were blown away by the support we received from our local community.
“Our thanks go to everyone who donated toys or money, to the collection bin locations, to the Weymouth Rotary Club for regularly emptying the collection bins and to the Dorset Echo Elves.