Echo's toy appeal makes Christmas for thouands of children

Bournemouth Echo: GENEROUS: Phil Carey at the Boscombe Salvation Army parents and toddlers group where children are some of the recipients of toys donated to the Daily Echo Christmas Toy Appeal GENEROUS: Phil Carey at the Boscombe Salvation Army parents and toddlers group where children are some of the recipients of toys donated to the Daily Echo Christmas Toy Appeal

THOUSANDS of children will wake up with a present under their Christmas tree this year thanks to the Daily Echo’s toy appeal.

The initiative, now in its 17th year, has seen generous readers donate gifts to vulnerable women in refuges, young people in children’s homes, and families in need throughout the festive season.

Toys have even been given to children in hospital this Christmas Day through the Amelia-Grace Rainbow Fund for the first time ever. Amelia-Grace Cooper died of an aggressive form of childhood cancer three years ago at the age of just eight.

Organiser Phil Carey, 92, pledged to coordinate the initiative despite suffering from poor health in the months before the appeal began. He said: “It’s been a wonderful year.

“We’ve been inundated with presents. The generosity of Echo readers always astonishes me and this year is no different. It will make such a difference to some of the neediest people in the county.”

And there have been so many donations that Christmas will stretch on into next year for those who need it most.

Great grandfather Phil said: “It’s been such a success.

“We have extra gifts that will be used by families in need as birthday presents, so I’d urge anyone reading this who still wants to donate to bring their toys in. They will find a good home with children who might otherwise get nothing for their birthday.”

Presents have been donated to youngsters through the social services as well as charities and good causes in Bournemouth and Poole.

Phil said: “These presents will bring a smile to children’s faces this Christmas Day. There’s nothing more wonderful than that.”

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