As the Christmas marketing ramps up and the country goes present-mad, members of the community are making sure some people do not go short this festive season.
Barbara Gunn, 71, from Fir Croft Avenue in Lancing, has launched Barb’s Christmas Box Appeal to collect shoe boxes full of presents to donate to users of Shoreham and Lancing Foodbanks.
The public response, she said, has been amazing.
“I’ve had complete strangers knocking on my door with boxes,” said the mother of two.
“We’ve got 80 boxes now but we want to get to at least 100.
“If every person just does one, it is nothing. When 100 do it, it is amazing. All I did was set the ball rolling – it just takes one person to say let’s do it.”
Barbara said she initially contacted the foodbank several weeks ago, but was told they would not be able to handle the volume of presents.
After some persistence, they agreed she could drop off any donations to be distributed to its users.
She had planned to donate anonymously, but the Facebook publicity has helped the cause and encouraged more people to donate.
Since going public she has been inundated by visitors to her home, even hosting a coffee morning last Thursday (November 15).
Presents are given in categories – boys, girls, ladies and gentlemen – with children split into three to six years old, seven to ten and ten to 15.
Children’s boxes, said Barbara, have been filled with comic books, crayons, toys, warm clothes and a variety of other children’s treats.
For the adults, she said things like toiletries, make-up and clothes form a lot of the offerings.
This year Barbara is encouraging people to think about the ladies, who she said could be more likely to prioritise their children over Christmas, but not get as much for themselves.
“I know what it’s like to come from a hard working, low income family so it’s nice to be able to give something back,” she said, adding she had chosen Shoreham as that is where she was born.
“It is about there being people that earn just enough to get by and hopefully this can give them something at Christmas.”
Barbara will be collecting boxes until December 7 and can be contacted at www.facebook.com/events/241311716565937/