TAGS are flying off The Giving Tree as Wokingham prepares to ensure it’s a happy Christmas for hundreds of children.
The project is slightly different this year – the usual routine of taking tags and returning with the present needed to be altered to make it Covid-safe. Despite this, organisers are pledging to do everything they can to ensure that the appeal is a success – but to do that, they need your help.
The appeal was launched at Wokingham’s Tesco superstore on Finchampstead Road, with the request this year for gift vouchers for children rather than physical presents.
The charities and their amazing volunteers will be busy using the vouchers to buy the presents which the children have asked for.
They will be distributed by local charities who work closely to ensure that the presents fall into the right stockings on Christmas Day.
Since last week, Giving Trees have been installed in the Martins Heron and Warfield branches of Tesco, and Morrisons Woosehill and Newbury Building Society.
Last year, more than 2,500 children across Wokingham borough were helped in this way.
Gill McKernan, who works for Barnardo’s High Close School in Wokingham, announced the appeal with Louise Jedras, Wokingham Tesco’s Community Champion.
“I have been absolutely blown away by how much interest there has been in the tree in its first few days and how many tags have already been picked up and returned with vouchers to the customer service desk,” said Ms Jedras.
“Sorting through them at the weekend, I had a lump in my throat seeing how generous our customers have been.
“Thank you, Wokingham.”
The appeal is being backed by Wokingham Town mayor, Cllr Tony Lack.
He said: “Over the years the Giving Tree has given so much to children who would otherwise have gone without Christmas presents.
“This year the Giving Tree, like so many other organisations, have had to make changes in order to carry out their sterling work so I would like to offer my thanks to the organisers, the tree hosts and above all the public who give so generously
“Please add a voucher to your shop and make a child’s Christmas.”