Wish on a star:
what happens to the presents There was a terrific response from parishes across the Diocese to the annual ‘Wish on a Star’ appeal for Christmas gifts to go to those less fortunate. About a thousand presents were received. However, several people have asked where the gifts go to? As in the last two years, the gifts were distributed via FareShare Leicester at its pre-Christmas distribution. They are sorted by gender and age category to try and match the requests. This year, 19 of the 22 member groups collected food and gifts. They are helping people in the City and County who are:• on low or no wage, especially where children or young people are at risk • asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers, refugees, • homeless, or vulnerably housed • vulnerable elderly • at risk due to mental health problems, learning difficulties, or HIV/AIDS • women and children affected by domestic violence • street workers in the sex industry One family sent this thank you note to their local organiser: “With much gratitude we want to thank you for the food and Christmas gifts. In our darkest hour you were our light. We wish you all the best God has to offer and good health.” Peter Yates, Director of Social Responsibility said, “I would like to thank the people of Leicestershire for their amazing generosity in support of the Star scheme and FareShare.
Some have asked why the appeal has been so successful? The answer may lie in the economic downturn where the needs of the poorest are even more apparent and so wanting to help those ‘at the bottom of the pile’. It may have been the terrible weather which brought the needs of the destitute to the fore”. He added, “Whatever the reasons, we’re very grateful for this result as it means that we were able to help more people in need this year. Our work goes on all year round; it doesn’t have to be Christmas to help us! You can support those in need at any time.” John Willetts, Project Director, FareShare Leicester said, “It’s a wonderful response and would be even better if more churches to took part next year; then we could meet more need. We would be grateful for more gifts for adults. Everyone thinks of children at Christmas but men and women who have nothing appreciate gifts too.” For further information, contact John Willetts, Project Director, FareShare Leicester on 07867 527 063
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Monthly magazine of the Diocese of Leicester