McColl’s is backing a campaign by The Sun newspaper calling on its readers to donate toys, teddies and money on behalf of disadvantaged children this Christmas.
As part of the #SmilesAtChristmas drive, the biggest appeal in the title’s history, the retailer will collect new and nearly new toy donations at 1,300 stores.
The push, which launched today and has the support of Simon Cowell and Claudia Winkleman, will see donations split between four charities: Scotty’s Little Soldiers - which helps children of military personnel who have died serving in the armed forces; Children with Cancer UK, a charity dedicated to the fight against the disease in children; Amar - which provides medical aid and education in the Middle East and helps children forced to flee Mosul; and Women’s Aid - which supports children who have been forced to leave home to escape domestic abuse.
McColl’s chief executive Jonathan Miller said the convenience chain had a “long history” of supporting charities for children and young people and had, in recent years, raised “hundreds of thousands of pounds” for organisations leading research into sudden cardiac death for young adults.
“We are proud to support The Sun and its #SmilesAtChristmas appeal,” he said. “Our colleagues will be on hand from early in the morning to late in the evening every day from now until 9 December helping Sun readers donate as many toys as possible.
“McColl’s is present in over 1,000 neighbourhoods across the UK and in every one of our stores we see how important Christmas is to so many of our customers, their families and the local community. The generosity of The Sun readers is well known and we stand by ready to help ensure that your kindness leads to thousands more children smiling this Christmas.”
Readers will also be able to donate new toys to any branch of Toys R Us.
Tony Gallagher, editor-in-chief of The Sun, which is read by more than four million people, said: “Sun readers never fail to amaze me with their generosity towards those in need. This Christmas we want to bring a smile to the faces of children affected by war, disease and family troubles.”