Article updated on 22 July with further instructions on the donation process – see below
Most children have been away from school for many, many weeks and parents are running out of things for them to do. For many disadvantaged families in Reading this has been particularly stressful and it isn’t likely to improve soon. In normal years Reading Family Aid organise summer outings, but that hasn’t been possible this year, so they wanted to do something else to help families who are struggling more than most. The result is their first ever Summer Toy Project.
They have approached four organisations in Reading who support local disadvantaged families, and offered to provide toys for their organisations and families. The four organisations are:
- Alana House which provides a confidential, women-only, non-judgemental space for women who feel they need help and support.
- First Days which reduces the long-term effect of poverty on children by equipping them with the essential items they need for their early years and at school.
- Home-Start Reading which provides compassionate, confidential help and expert support to families with young children.
- The Weller Centre which provides activities, events and services for local families of Caversham.
Donating a toy
To donate a toy to one of these organisations simply click on one of the links below. The toys you purchase from the Amazon Gift List will be delivered directly to the organisation for them to give to the most appropriate families.
Update: we have received a few questions about the process, so we just wanted to share a few important instructions:
- Please ensure that you don’t have any items of your own in your Amazon basket.
- If you wish to purchase for more than one charity, please do this as separate transactions to ensure your gifts go to the correct charities.
- When you proceed to checkout you will be asked to select a delivery address. Please select the delivery address of the charity to which you are donating – it will appear automatically in your choice of delivery addresses, although the address itself will be hidden. This will ensure that your donation is delivered directly to the charity for them to distribute to the most appropriate families.
Ahead of the launch of the Summer Toy Project, Reading Family Aid have already been re-allocating some of the money they would normally spend on summer outings, and instead spending it on some items that these organisations really wanted. The response confirms how important these donations are to these organisations and families.
The mum of a little boy who received a birthday package of toys from First Days commented:
Wow, this is amazing! I feel so grateful that there are people to help so quickly. I feel that we can enjoy his birthday now without feeling guilty that I couldn’t get him a better present than just a cake. Thank you.
Another organisation, Home-Start Reading, said to us:
We know just how essential play is in promoting childhood development – now more so than ever – so we are very grateful to Reading Family Aid in helping us to support our families during this very challenging time.