A new campaign has been launched in a bid to ensure every child in Scotland’s largest city gets a gift this Christmas.
MSP Anas Sarwar has teamed up with charity Children 1st and Glasgow Women’s Aid to organise the annual appeal.
Toy stores including the Entertainer and the Lego Store have already agreed to donate items, along with the cash4Kids charity, Asda, and bosses at the St Enoch Centre and Forge Shopping Centre.
And Mr Sarwar said they were hoping to top the 500 toys and vouchers donated to the Glasgow Cares toy bank appeal, as he appealed to big-hearted Scots to help out.
The Glasgow Labour MSP said: “In a city like Glasgow there are hundreds of children who miss out on Christmas.
“But this year, with the introduction of Universal Credit, wage stagnation and increased housing costs, we fear that more families could be struggling during the festive season.
“It’s heart-warming that so many organisations have already agreed to contribute to the toy bank appeal, but we really need more toys this year and hope residents in Glasgow who can afford to will help us to make it a record-breaking year.
“Together, we can guarantee a Christmas for every child in the city.”
Julie Richardson, service manager with Children 1st, said the charity worked with “many families who feel stressed and worried by the additional financial burden and sense of ‘difference’ Christmas can bring”.
She added: “The Christmas toy appeal is one very important way we can work together to reduce some of the stress felt by families struggling at Christmas, hopefully allowing them to relax and feel part of the Christmas spirit.”
Susan Jack, training and development worker at Glasgow Women’s Aid, said: “Christmas can be a very difficult time of the year and this is particularly true for families in refuge or living with domestic abuse.
“Every year we are overwhelmed by the generosity of people that donate toys and presents to Glasgow Women’s Aid. We know that these donations make a big difference to families.
“Moving into refuge can be very difficult, even if you know it’s the safest option. Being there at Christmas can be a reminder of the awful experiences that you have had. Worrying about money can only exacerbate these feelings.
“For mothers, knowing that the people of Glasgow are thinking of them and helping to make Christmas a bit easier, is a great comfort.”
Donations of new toys and/or gift vouchers can be handed in to Mr Sarwar’s office at 423 Paisley Road West, Glasgow, G51 1PZ, Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm.