Karen and Tom Baird have had major success running a toy drive for The Salvation Army. They have been hard at work collecting donations to help families that are struggling this Christmas.
The owners of The Royal Oak pub in Boothstown run an annual charity event, from food banks to toy drives and many more they are always looking to help their community.
With many businesses closing down and people on low income, the couple decided to take action. Karen said, “a lot of people would be losing their jobs because of either furlough or they’ve been laid off, so families this year would be struggling”.
With around 39% of children living in low-income households in Salford, Christmas can be a tough time of year, despite Covid-19.
The Salvation Army said their donations will help between 30 to 40 families this Christmas, saying their work has been fabulous.
Karen and Tom started taking donations at the beginning of November and on the 29th they filled 4 cars worth of gifts and sent them off to The Salvation Army.
“We decided to do a toy collection, it was all new toys and basically, had to keep in mind that a lot of people would be losing their job because of either furlough or they’ve been laid off so families this year would be struggling more for toys for the kids as well as food.”
The toys and gifts will be distributed to families that can’t afford presents this year, some of the gifts will be sent to domestic abuse centres as well.
One lady hand-crocheted around a dozen babies’ blankets before donating them to The Royal Oak toy drive, with hundreds of donations coming through their doors, Karen said “it filled every room in the pub”.
At the start of the year, they raised £890 for Cancer Research by making and selling masks and have continued their charitable support for their community throughout the year.
With a £150 donation for Clatterbridge Hospital and raising £350 for Macmillan nurses, The Royal Oak have been working hard all year round to help others.
They have felt the full support of the community with local businesses, friends and family putting in donations and the whole community pulling together.
Charities rely on fundraisers and donations to support families and people in need, every toy drive, food bank or cash donation contributes to keeping communities thriving. Supporting each other in difficult times is something Salford has always been great at and will continue to do.