Generous Oban donates sack loads to Christmas Appeal

Volunteers at Oban's Salvation Army hall surrounded by just some of the gifts donated to the 2020 Christmas Appeal.

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Organisers of this year’s Salvation Army Christmas Appeal have received a record ‘unprecedented’ response.

Appeal Co-ordinator Morven Finlayson at Oban’s Salvation Army said Oban’s generosity has been overwhelming.

Hundreds of donated gifts from baby clothes to toys, games, toiletries and lots more festive treats were dropped off at the Salvation Army’s hall in Stevenson Street and to the town’s Nationwide branch in George Street.

Volunteers at the Salvation Army have been working round the clock to help Santa bundle up the gifts according to ages and whether the recipient is male or female, ready for social workers and other care organisations to pick up and distribute.

Oban and Lorn Lions Club gave sack-loads of toys to the appeal to make up for not being able to have its popular Santa’s Grotto this year due to Covid.

Lions President Jim Edge said: ‘We were just so pleased to find a safe way of getting gifts out to children this year. Covid meant we couldn’t have our usual Santa’s Grotto, but hopefully he’ll be back next year. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.’

Last year about 280 children and about 275 vulnerable and elderly people received gifts from the appeal, but demand in 2020 has risen, said Morvern, who has been involved in the Christmas Present Appeal for 12 years now.

‘It has been an unprecedented response, absolutely amazing considering Covid has meant a lot of people have been struggling themselves, but still found a way of being so generous and giving our appeal their support. Never in my 12 years of working on the appeal have I seen so much donated. I know I’m not the only one to have witnessed this generosity, many of the other appeals in our community have experienced the same. A huge thank you to everyone.’