Compassion ministry Love Falkirk donates Christmas gift vouchers to disadvantaged families

A Falkirk district compassion ministry is showing it is exactly that by the way it is supporting low-income families this Christmas.

By Jonathon Reilly
Thursday, 17th December 2020, 4:45 pm

Love Falkirk, an offshoot of Falkirk Vineyard Church, set up a JustGiving page to collect donations so parents who are struggling financially can buy gifts for their children.

The ministry usually holds a toy appeal during the festive period, however, coronavirus restrictions have meant an online solution was more practical.

The generosity of its community saw the page collect more than £4000 in digital donations – money which has been exchanged for toy and gift vouchers that will ensure disadvantaged families have something to look forward to on Christmas Day.

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Love Falkirk members have bought £2000 of gift cards - courtesy of donations - from Falkirk Delivers to help struggling families this Christmas. From left: Andrew McNinch, senior pastor; Ruth Allen, pantry worker; and Lyndsey Henderson, coordinator. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Through its partnership with Falkirk Council’s social work department, Love Falkirk’s volunteers have been able to distribute the vouchers to families in desperate need in Falkirk and Camelon.

The ministry will also be handing out full Christmas dinners courtesy of its pantry at Camelon Juniors’ ground in Fairlie Street.

Lyndsey Henderson, who coordinates Love Falkirk with husband Blair, said: “We normally ask people to bring things in to get Christmas presents for a specific age and family.

“We link up with the social work. It’s a specific toy appeal but it’s too difficult with Covid because we’d have to leave presents for 72 hours.

“We decided to do an online JustGiving page. We raised £4100 which was so much more than we aimed for.

“This year the parents will get a voucher worth £50 to buy a child a present. It’s about dignity and respect.

“We don’t want to give a handout. We want to give people a hand up.

“We gave £1800 to Smyths Toys and got 36 vouchers.

“We’ve now given more than £2000 to Falkirk Delivers for its District Towns Gift Cards so families of children with teenagers can go and pick their own thing and the money is going back into Falkirk.

“Partnering with everyone has been lovely. A huge thanks to everyone in the community.

“It hasn’t just been the church. There have been a lot of businesses involved and Falkirk Community Hospital has been having collections.

“After such a difficult year, everyone has come together.”

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