Good community spirit and the generosity of local businesses has brought cheer to the faces of disadvantaged children this Christmas.
The Give a Gift Appeal saw an unprecidented response - with in excess of 4,500 toys donated and given to hard-up families across the Boston area.
Many are families with young children living on the bread line and struggling to afford to feed themselves.
Appeal organiser Harry Drury said: “The generosity from the community this year has quite literally been humbling. We have exceeded last year’s efforts by three times.
Since the launch of the appeal in November, Mr Drury said he has been made aware of a number of cases this year where the toys from the appeal are the only gifts children will receive at Christmas.
“This really brings home an understanding of the level of poverty which sometimes goes unheard of,” he said.
One of those receiving gifts is five-year-old Ellie-Mae Jenkins, of Boston. Her grandma Diane Hunt contacted The Standard to say the youngster needed a boost. She explained: “Her mummy is a single mum and to try and better herself has enrolled at college. She has had to apply for benefits and as a result is entitled to about £65 a week for her and my grandaughter to live on and run a house. As you can appreciate, Christmas gifts will be almost non-existant this year.”
After hearing Ellie was to get toys from the appeal, mum Linda Cannon, 34, said: “I’m so pleased as I really didn’t expect anything. It has certainly taken a little bit of pressure off.”
Run by Thomas Campbell Estate Agents, in Fish Hill, the campaign called for donations of toys - which were to be wrapped up and given to local children in need.
Mr Drury and supporters have been tirelessly wrapping the huge number of toys to ensure they are ready for Christmas.
He said: “I would like to thank the Boston Standard, Asda, Ted West’s chip shop and the borough council for being active partners in our campaign this year. Wthout their support, we would not have collected even a quarter of the presents which have been donated.
“Secondly, I would like to thank the people and local businesses who were kind enough to donate gifts to the appeal which have gone to the children in our area who need them the most. Lastly, I would also like to thank the dedicated team at Thomas Campbell Estate Agents for the time they took outside of their working day to help wrap and distribute the presents.”
He added: “The true meaning of Christmas is of course giving and sharing. Boston and surrounding villages, you should be proud of yourselves for bringing the true meaning of Christmas to so many children this year.”