For many years the Lions Club of Morpeth has organised Christmas presents of toys, games and clothes for needy children throughout Northumberland.
Families in need are identified by local children’s services. This involves the Lions and their friends donating suitable presents along with toys collected at a Toy Service organised by St.George’s URC. As well as the general collections, Lions and their partners adopt a family and make up a sack of presents for each child. Family sizes ranged from one to ten children.
In total Morpeth Lions will support a record 81 children from 30 families in need this Christmas.
Organising this act of Club service are Lion Robin Cooper and his wife Joan. They get brief details of the first name, gender and age of each child.. This helps to identify suitable gifts. There is a small provision of cash from Lions funds but without exception the value of toys etc greatly exceeds this.
Once the gifts have been bought they need wrapping and parcelling. Whilst much of this is done at home by the Lions, there is always a need for additional wrapping and labelling to be done. This year three Guide leaders from the 4th Morpeth St. George’s Company descended on Robin and Joan’s house and expertly completed this element.
The final stage involves getting this mountain of gifts to the county Children’s Services. A number of Lion members were on hand for this task – one of whom has a motor home that has the advantage of taking more than the average car.
Lion President Richard Nash said:
“It is a tremendous effort by all those involved. The Lions are extremely grateful to the church and the friends of Lions who donate such large numbers of presents. We know the children really appreciate their gifts and it is worth remembering they would have almost nothing if it was not for the generosity of local people and organisations.”