Happy New Year from everyone at IceBlue! We hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas break opening presents, eating one too many mince pies and indulging in some quality time with your loved ones.
Not everyone is lucky enough to receive presents each year, so we at IceBlue teamed up with Operation Santa, a worthwhile appeal run by Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre, to ensure that local disadvantaged children and young people could have a Christmas to remember.
Over 15,000 children in Dudley are living below the poverty line, and Operation Santa is an annual toy and food appeal that aims to put smiles on the faces of these children so that they can experience ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’
Operation Santa looks for toys, books, games and gifts, as well as traditional Christmas food such as stuffing, gravy, mince pies and crackers. The appeal is reliant solely on the generosity of kind hearted businesses and members of the public.
‘Dress down Friday’
Throughout 2014, IceBlue raised money for Operation Santa through a simple ‘dress down Friday’ initiative. Every Friday, the team had the option of wearing home clothes and contributing at least one pound to our charity collections.
As the year went on, one pound turned to ten, then ten to twenty and sooner or later, we had raised the money to buy present bags full of cuddly toys, games, gift sets and food to give the children.
Thanks to the generous donations of local businesses and members of the public, the campaign itself was a success and reached an incredible total of 12,258 items donated, of which 1,642 were food and toiletries, and a further 468 items were for Operation Santa’s ‘Pick up and Pack a Pencil Case’ appeal.
Dudley CVS Volunteer Centre also offered the opportunity to donate money instead of items, and it has been revealed that the appeal received £2969.59 in donations.
Children’s Christmas parties
These funds donated to Operation Santa were used to support 19 children’s Christmas parties, including that of the Krafty Church Children’s Group.
A representative from the Krafty Church Children’s Group stated “The money enabled us to have lots of fun and to be able to take home some inspirational gifts. We have been immensely blessed by your generosity and kindness.”
To find out more about the cause behind Operation Santa, how you can donate and case studies of people involved, please visit their blog.