Mayoral Christmas Gift Appeal
2021 Mayoral Christmas Gift Appeal
Gifts can be dropped off to Council's Service Centre or the Stratford Library and Visitor Information Centre from 1 December 2021 until 16 December 2021.
Items needed include:
- gifts suitable for older people
- gifts for teenagers
- hard toys such as wooden or plastic made
- hygiene products
- non-perishable food (and Christmas Day treats).
In consideration of the current climate, pre-loved soft toys will not be accepted.
Cash donations are also welcome and will be used to purchase gifts to top up the donated presents under the Christmas tree.
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Community Development Officer Vanessa Fischer on 06 765 6099 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mayoral Christmas Gift Appeal is an annual tradition that asks for gift donations to be dropped off at the Council Service Centre and Library and visitor information centre from 1 December in the lead up to Christmas. These gifts are given to families and individuals within our community who are in need of a bit of support and extra cheer during the festive season. People are nominated by local social service agencies as well as community members.
The concept of Christmas gifts has been a part of Stratford’s history for at least 64 years.
Diving into the Stratford District Council archives we discovered mention of Christmas parcels dating back to 1957, in the time of Mayor Boon (Borough Council). From 1957 onwards records of the Christmas parcel initiative appear regularly, alongside thank you letters from grateful locals. Locals in the early 1960s wrote that the Christmas parcels were “very useful” and that it was “a thrill” to receive one. Originally the Christmas gifts were parcels solely containing food. Now the gifts contain various other items too, like toys and hygiene products. This initiative originated as part of the Mayoral Relief Fund and has evolved over the years.
Although the formatting and contents of Stratford’s beloved Mayoral Christmas Gift Appeal has changed over time, the intent of the project has remained; to provide a heartfelt Christmas gift to community members in need.
The Mayoral Christmas Gift Appeal is more community orientated than ever, relying heavily on local’s generous donations. Seeing the Council Service Centre Christmas tree become surrounded by donated gifts each year, is a heart-warming reminder of our community’s compassion. We hope it is a tradition that will see many more years of giving.
Current Stratford District Mayor Neil Volzke speaks fondly of the tradition saying, “Stratford residents are always outstanding with their generous contribution. We have a caring community, which this appeal continues to display each year.”