Giving – The True Meaning of Christmas
This year, Greyfriars Church donated over 300 gifts which, for the first time, were combined with donations from a primary school in Aberdeen, The Swan Shine Project, Welltec UK, and some other small financial donations. Five student volunteers checked and sorted the gifts, which were delivered across the country by our staff & volunteers.
We prioritised children whom we knew would receive no other gifts. These included a mother with two daughters aged 4 weeks and 1 year, and another family with two teenage boys whose father had just died while their brother was in prison. One mother of six children in Edinburgh, aged from 4 to 14, asked us to pass along her thanks specially.
Each family was delighted to receive the gifts. We also gave a gift to each of the six children taking part in our later music workshops for families in Addiewell prison. The children were thrilled to receive a gift, with one little boy’s face a picture when he opened a new car with flashing lights!
Many gifts were also sent to prisons for the children who visit each Christmas:
- HMP Addiewell for their Christmas visits;
- Over 100 gifts to Cornton Vale women’s prison and Family Help Hub for their visits from children;
- 200 gifts for children visiting HMP Grampian at Christmas;
- 110 selection boxes for prisoners at the Open Estate to give to their children and grandchildren;
- Gifts to Glasgow North West Food Bank who distributed to families with Christmas food parcels, and at their Christmas Day dinner for 60 people; and
- The Edinburgh Domestic Abuse Service, as many families we support come from abusive relationships.
Our Family Support Coordinator in Glasgow said one child she supported, who received the gifts, has additional support needs and Autism, and described the look of excitement on his face as he placed each gift under his tree:
“His mum was overwhelmed and overcome at the generosity of strangers towards her family.”
Our staff said that…
“…one woman just burst into tears because she was so moved!”
A huge thank you to everyone who donated gifts – you made an enormous difference!