Sunderland College students and staff have donated hundreds of toys which will be handed out to local children who wouldn’t get any gifts this Christmas.
Inspired by the Norah’s North Pole initiative, which supports families in need across the North East, the college’s Travel and Tourism and Pathways students organised a collection drive which received over 350 brand new toys and games in less than a month.
The donations were delivered to Nora’s North Pole packing station in Sunderland who will hand them to parents so they can wrap them for their child.
In addition to the toys and games, the students also handed over 70 selection boxes to residents at Alexandra View Care home.
Travel and Tourism Lecturer, Catherine Dixon, said: “We always try and give something back each Christmas, but this year couldn’t decide between Norah’s North Pole or Alexandra View, so we did our best to collect for both.
“Supporting local charities is always beneficial to our students as it helps them learn about and build links with our communities. The students produced posters and organised delivery of the donations which helped them develop their organisation and communication skills.
“We’re very proud of their achievements and were blown away by everyone’s generosity and thoughtfulness, giving back to the elderly and helping ensure children don’t go without gifts this Christmas, especially during such difficult times.”
Norah’s North Pole was set up five years ago in memory of the Wilkinson family’s grandmother who passed away in 2015.
The family work with schools, health visitors and social workers from across the North East who refer the children who need support.
Since this year’s appeal was launched in November, almost £30,000 has been raised on the charity’s JustGiving page, with more than 45,000 items including food and essential warm clothing local donated by businesses, schools and generous members of the public.
On receiving the toys and games from Sunderland College, Norah’s North Pole said: “It’s amazing. We would like to thank everyone at the college so much, they are all so kind.
“There is definitely be lots of happy families this Christmas morning thanks to the kindness shown by everyone this year.”
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