In 2019, Baby Godiva fell upon the Salvation Army Christmas gift appeal and we hastily signed up and gave out Christmas Presents to 11 of our regular service users. In 2020, we got organised!
Between the Salvation Army and a generous donation of £750 from RSA Insurance in Birmingham, we had a great foundation for “Christmas in a Bag” for many of our service users. After identifying over 40 families who would not be able to purchase presents for their children that Christmas, I purchased boxes of chocolates, tree decorations and wrapping paper.
I suppose it highlights the material nature of the season but, dignity is a big thing for Baby Godiva. To allow a child a day of feeling ‘normal’ and something to talk about to their peers when they return to school in January, I felt was really important. A moment of happiness to perhaps forget the situation they are in and a day of a Mum feeling that special feeling of watching their children’s faces light up is one of my favourite feelings.
During our planning stages, a fantastic offer of support was received from a young lady who offered to supply a shoebox of stocking filler gifts for each child…all 118 of them! It was a huge task but, in the end it was successful. Each child received three gifts (one large and two small), a shoebox of stocking filler silliness and a hot chocolate. The family received a tub of chocolates, a set of chocolate tree decorations and some wrapping paper to put it all together under the tree.
We delivered to 48 families using five volunteers in the pouring rain one soggy Wednesday in December. We had elves get lost, families not in to receive their gifts, broken bags, wrong addresses …it was beautiful chaos. But, in the end, the thank you notes, and photos of children surrounded by wrapping paper all smiles and chocolate on their faces made it all worth it.
I’m already planning Christmas 2021!