We had an amazing response to our 2016 Christmas Shoebox Appeal with many donations from people from all walks of life, right across the West Midlands region. It was wonderful to have such local support at Christmas and more importantly all our young people in need received a gift! Some people had clearly put a lot of thought into their donations as well, packing their boxes with a generous amount of quality items.
There are far too many people to mention but we would particularly like to thank residents of Solihull for their sizable donation and BCFC players that we've already mentioned in a previous e-newsletter, as well as more recently Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
Staff at our Solihull and Yardley projects would also like to say a special thank you to everyone who supported them in the run up to Christmas, with gifts and meals for their young residents.
We'd also like to thank everyone who responded to our Shoebox appeal in Coventry. We have never put out an appeal in Coventry before and our staff (pictured above right) were overwhelmed by the response! Staff would particularly like to thank Coventry Comfort Carers who not only donated presents but a hot dinner for the young people! Thanks to this generosity staff at our Coventry base were able to treat all the young people who attended their 'Come out of the Cold' event just before Christmas.
Our homelessness prevention services in Warwickshire were also able to hold similar events and give out gifts to young people they are working with (above left) thanks to the support of local individuals, families and businesses. The North Warwickshire team would like to thank Clare from Buffet Junction in Fillongley for providing the food for their event and staff based at our Stratford services were also able to provide gifts to young people attending thanks to Magic Ally who donated 50 Christmas story books, chocolates and treats and also to DCS Group UK who donated a massive selection of toiletries.
Staff from our Redditch supported accommodation schemes Beoley Court and Grange Court would like to thank Trinity High, who they enjoy a lot of support from, particularly at Christmas. This time the schools' sixth formers (pictured above centre) collected and delivered a large amount of long-life food to the project to help out the young residents and give them a bit of a treat at Christmas time.
We'd also like to thank Beckett's Farm staff (pictured left) for collecting and donating enough food to fill a large box with goodies for every day of advent (and a bit more!). These were distributed to projects across Birmingham and Worcestershire. They also donated £224 to our cause!
Hearing about the Shoebox appeal Katjes Magic Candy Factory based at The Custard Factory just down the road from our Birmingham Youth Hub popped in to donate 20 large tubs of sweets (pictured right) which were then distributed to young people at our Birmingham Youth Hub and other local schemes.
Last but certainly not least we want to tell you about a young lad called Gabriel Powell (pictured below) who saved up and used his pocket money to buy items to fill four shoe boxes, wrapping them himself and brought them down to our Head Office in person. His father Paul told us; "My son has been involved in fundraising activities for the last three years for various charities. He did inform me that if he won lots of money, he would sponsor a homeless individual with accommodation and financial support to find a job."
St Basils Fundraising Officer Anne Morton said: "It's always lovely to hear about children who are already thinking of others less fortunate, even at such an early age. Gabriel is a wonderful example to us all!"