This year’s Christmas must-haves including Peppa Pig, Barbie dolls, LEGO packages, footballs, arts and crafts and selection boxes are amongst the thousands of gifts delivered to families across the city before Christmas Day. The gifts also included fluffy blankets, socks, hats and scarves for both adults and children.
The festive campaign couldn’t have been possible without the generosity and support from Gentoo colleagues and partners Biffa, Equans, Isoler, Jewson, Northern Electrical Fire Security, RE:GEN Group and 0800 Repair.
Louise Bassett, Chief Executive Officer at Gentoo Group, said: “I have been blown away by my colleagues and our partners who continue to show kindness and generosity year after year.
“These small acts of kindness aim to ease some of the burden for the many families who are finding it difficult to afford presents this Christmas.
“On behalf of Gentoo, I would like to thank our partners who made this year’s Christmas campaign possible, it’s because of their generosity thousands of people in Sunderland will be waking up on Christmas morning with gifts under the tree.”
The cost of living has continued to rise over the last 12 months and hundreds of families across Sunderland are still facing financial difficulty, meaning this year’s donations are needed now more than ever.
One customer, who received gifts for her 5 children shared how much of a difference the appeal made to her family. She said: “I don’t know how I could ever thank you. It is a struggle being a single Mam to 5 especially at Christmas and it’s really made my year just being thought of and receiving so much.
“I don’t know how I’ll ever repay this but it’s something that I’ll never forget. I wanted you to know how thankful I am and how much it means to me.”
The gift donations form part of the wider ‘Your Gentoo Christmas’ campaign, which also arranges for 200 Christmas dinners to be delivered to those in need and 200 Gentoo customers to watch Sunderland Empire’s latest annual pantomime, Beauty and the Beast.