Adur East Lions kicked off their many Christmas activities on 1st December with a festive Bang..  Since November, they had been attending one of their local foodbanks (Shoreham & Adur Community Foodbank) to collect details of all the children supported by the foodbank.  Over just a four week period, they had 61 children registered for their new Christmas Project.
Similar to a project run throughout Dunelm stores for the past four years, (which is in fact where the idea came from), Children (or their parents), were given a specially made gift tag, to be completed by the child with an item they would like (to an approximate £10 value).  The tags were returned to the Lions at the Foodbank, who then purchased and wrapped the gifts.  So as not to add any extra burden on the Foodbank, the entire process was managed by Adur East Lion, Claudine Rogers, who proposed the project at Adur East's October Business Meeting.
Several Members of Adur East Lions also helped source and wrap some of the gifts, which included football items (from Tottenham, Brighton and Arsenal Clubs), art supplies, cuddly toys, slipper socks, music boxes, craft kits, lego, play dough, hats/scarves/mittens, smellies, crochet wool and even speciality teas!  A donation of 50 Chocolate Reindeers was also obtained from their local Tesco, and each gift bag contained not only their desired gift, but also one of the chocolate Reindeers, together with a festive bag of sweet treats (their parent's permission for the 'sugar-high', having been previously sought).  Mini bags of Harribo, Chocolate buttons, Maoam chews, Freddo Frogs, Chocolate lollies and Candy Canes should hopefully keep them happy for at least a short while!
Lion Claudine's living room soon became akin to a Santa's Grotto, and her neighbours helped not only to wrap some of the many many presents, but also to transport the numerous gifts (as it's probably not surprising, the 61 gift bags didn't fit in Claudine's Nissan Juke)!   Friday 1st December saw Lion Claudine handing out most of the sizeable gift bags at the Foodbank and the remainder will be given out on Friday 8th December. Pictured with some of the gift bags is the Foodbank Manager Dai Hudd and Lion Claudine.
Both the Foodbank volunteers and the parents attending the Foodbank have been very grateful for the extra holiday help.  Whilst it took considerable time to find those perfect gifts, mostly due to the fact that in the final week, 19 new children were registered (with only a week to source and wrap all the gifts), it was an amazing way to bring some relief to some of the many struggling families of the local community.  Thank heavens for Amazon Prime's next day delivery!
Adur East will also be running two static street collections, one in Shoreham and the other in Southwick, five 4-hour Santa's Grotto sessions at Manor Cottage in Southwick and five Sleigh nights around the streets of Southwick and Fishersgate.  Needless to say, after all these activities, Adur East Members are looking forward to putting their feet up and enjoying a Christmas rest...