By Bejay Browne
Organisers of the Gift of Love, an appeal that ensures that hundreds of children of needy families in Paphos will receive a gift bag of presents this Christmas, are just short of their target and are hoping members of the public will come forward to help.
One of the volunteers of the initiative, now in its sixth year, told the Cyprus Mail on Friday that the deadline for donations is Saturday (tomorrow) afternoon and 20 gift bags of various ages are still needed.
“The public have been particularly amazing this year and have donated so many wonderful presents, but we still need a few more bags to ensure that all of the children on our list will receive something this festive season,” she said.
Twenty more bags are needed in all, five in each of the following age groups: boys aged 3-5 years, 6- 8 years and 13-15 years. Five more bags are also required for the girls group ages 6-8 years.
The gift bags should contain a selection of new gifts around the value of €15-€20 each bag as a guideline, and all sorts of presents are required including dolls, toys, colouring books, crayons, socks, gloves, hats, scarves, sleepwear, toiletries, sweets, chocolate, biscuits, hot water bottles, deodorant, clothes, nail varnish, makeup, calculators, writing pads, pens, small games and jewellery.
Other suggestions and guidelines are available on the Gift of Love Facebook page.
A number of cash donations have also been made which will ensure that needy children will also receive new winter coats for Christmas.
In recent years, the presents were placed into shoe boxes, this year for ease and presentation, they are preferably placed into gift bags.
The children who receive the gifts are all from low- or no-income families who are part of a list provided by Paphos social services. If they are working, the adults are all earning six hundred euros or less a month.
The ‘Gift of Love’ volunteers are led by Smith, Mikka Heaney, and Soula Theodosiou,and around 500 children in the district of Paphos will receive the donated presents. For many, these bags will be the only gifts they receive this Christmas.
“We are also appealing for winter clothes for both adults and children and linen and blankets,” she said, adding that on Friday a request was also made for new teenagers’ clothes shoes.
“There are some children who are in desperate need of these necessities as the colder months are here and their parents just can’t afford it,” she said.
The gift bags will be carefully checked by the volunteers before being handed over and presents don’t need to be wrapped, making it easier to check them. They will be distributed ahead of Christmas through various networks such as social welfare, schools and community boards.
Drop off points include: Peyia Medical Centre, Revival fashion store, Revolution hairdressers, Century Travel, Maraki market cafe, Rock FM and Baby Corner.
For further information: Facebook: www.facebook.com/GiftOfLovePaphos/
Dikla Smith- 97789099 Mikka Heaney: 96 462558