Rachelle Callaghan wants to make sure no child goes without on Christmas day and has been collecting presents to be delivered to those in need.
The Preston mum has looked out for less fortunate people for many years and this isn’t the first time she has handed out presents for children at Christmas:
“A few years ago, I started collecting clothes and toiletries etc, and made up rucksacks of supplies and took them out to the homeless on the streets in Preston. From then, I’d just see or hear of families in need and buy them gifts so their children had something to open on Christmas morning.
“Last year, my friend Rebecca and I cycled from London to Amsterdam to Brussels to raise money for the food bank in Preston. They were also doing a Christmas gift appeal, so I asked them for the first names and ages of the children in need and collected gifts for them. I think there were 257 in total that was donated.”
Rachelle has been working hard to find the parents who have been affected by lockdown and may be struggling to buy Christmas presents in this uncertain time:
“This year, I’ve just posted on Facebook for anyone in need to contact me and I can arrange their gifts. The response from people wanting to help has been amazing! So many people have come forward to donate gifts and /or Christmas dinner for those in need. The lockdown has affected everyone, even more so with the backlog from universal credit etc.
“My husband and I have 4 boys, and for Christmas, they get something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. I couldn’t bare the thought of children not having anything to open on Christmas morning, or having a meal on the table.”
Rachelle explains how she plans to get the presents to all the different parents in time for Christmas:
“When I get the details of a family, I either message the people who have been in touch to help or post on Facebook. I don’t post any personal details, and the person donating only gets the child’s first name and age.
“All presents are being delivered to their drop off points the first week in November, then they will be delivered to the families over the course of the following fortnight. Chrismas dinner food donations will be delivered the week before Christmas.”
She encourages those who are struggling to come forward and ensures that you will remain anonymous:
“Anyone in need can get in touch, I literally have dozens of people waiting in the wings to help with gifts! Nobody needs to know that they’ve contacted me, and their details don’t get passed on to anyone. It’s all just through me.”
For any more information about the work Rachelle has been doing, check out her dedicated Facebook page here.