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The Christmas Family Appeal

The Belfast Rotary Club was pleased to initiate The Christmas Family Appeal - now a joint venture between The Salvation Army and the Society of St Vincent de Paul, supported by BBC Northern Ireland - which collects and distributes Christmas toys and gifts for families in need across Northern Ireland who, for what ever reason, would not otherwise get a present at Christmas.

The Appeal has grown and grown, as has the need to help. The Club continued its involvement with Club members bringing in gifts on the first meeting in December and teams from the Club, with volunteers from the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul, would sort and wrap the donated presents. It was a very humbling experience to see the public's generosity with all the fabulous new toys, books and games and gift vouchers left in to collection centers.

The Club continues to support this appeal through the donation of gifts (though in recent years we had a particular request that we provide vouchers as presents as this leaves a lot more flexibility in assembling the parcels), packing the parcels and whatever the Salvation Army or St Vincent de Paul request.

However the Belfast Rotary Club no longer takes the lead.

This is quite a usual feature of Rotary projects. A need is identified, a scheme is developed to fill that need and set in motion and when the Club is satisfied that the need is being fulfilled it is happy for others to take it on, thus leaving the Club free to put its efforts where others’ needs have been identified.

Picture shows President Arthur launching the December 2009 Appeal with representatives from the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul.

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