So, when we received an email from our CEO, Christine, at the beginning of November to tell us we had been chosen as one of the charities to benefit from this year’s Giving Tree, it’s safe safe to say we had no idea just how overwhelming the response would be.
Over 174,000 presents bought from up and down the country and even overseas.
Appearances on local and national TV.
Contact from businesses large and small wanting to contribute.
We are truly blown away by the support our small charity has received from the wonderful public.
The first day Roxanne and I entered the warehouse (I say ‘the’ warehouse, we didn’t realise at this point that we would end up with four of them!) and the scale of the project was terrifying. And we were ‘only’ at around 10,000 presents at this point… Piles and piles of brown Amazon boxes which all had to be opened and organised by age and gender to make sure that they went to a young person who would appreciate them.
Along with the team from Harbour slowly but surely we made progress. Spirits were high and Christmas songs aplenty. These high spirits weren’t always there. It was tiring and cold and damp seemed a never ending task. We were lucky to have support from Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, Hartlepool United Community Sports Foundation, Hartlepower and other organisations.
Even once we had unpacked the presents we needed for our young carers and somehow managed to get them back to our entirely not big enough offices there was the monumental task of making up the gifts and distributing them. On a personal note, I have the smallest car in the world and so this was a task in itself!
Our team are awesome though and we are so proud of what we have achieved. And seeing the happy faces of our young carers and receiving beautiful messages of thanks has made all the bruises, aches and pains, man flu and sleepless nights worth while.
Below are just some of the lovely messages we have received:
Hi thank you so much for my presents ,I am so grateful, very lucky and very lucky to be part of young carers.
Mam give me your email because I just wanted to say thank you for the presents, I love them all! I’m very grateful for them and I really didn’t expect it. I hope you have a lovely Christmas!
This year has been a huge challenge but we are overwhelmed with the support we have received that we cant thank everyone enough.
Thank you for the presents you have sent for the boys and thank you for all the support you have given us during this tough time. Hartlepool carers, you are amazing.
Thank you for **** presents she loves them xx Thank you for everything you do for her and have a lovely Christmas xx
Thank you for the presents, I love them and so does *** and ****. I hope you are the rest of the carers staff get some because you all deserve something for the amount of support you’ve given everyone x
Thank you to Middleton Grange Shopping Centre and In Studio for the fabulous idea of a virtual Giving Tree – without you guys this would not have been possible.
And thank you to every single person who bought a present and shared our story.
Scroll through our gallery of photos below.