Dozens of successful Teesside businesses and individuals joined forced to play Santa with a combined £15,000 in donations to the Salvation Army and local food banks.
With their support and generosity, charitable movement Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation has raised more than £2 million for local community groups and other good causes over the past five years.
For the third successive year, some of the Foundation’s corporate patrons took time out to make presentations to Teesside food banks and the Salvation Army’s Christmas Toy Appeal, along with Stockton charity, The Moses Project.
Five Salvation Army centres – in Middlesbrough, Stockton, Eston, Guisborough and Hartlepool (Henderson) – each received £1,000 cash and £1,000-worth of toys to be distributed to underprivileged families across Teesside.
Food banks in Redcar, Billingham, Middlesbrough and Hartlepool also received £1,000 each.
Leading the way was Redcar firm First Choice Labels, who loaned two of their vans to deliver toys to the Salvation Army in Eston and Guisborough, with managing director Nigel Willis and sales executive Emma Holborn acting as delivery drivers for the day.
Nigel, whose firm also delivered to Redcar Food Bank, said: “It was a pleasure to help out. My late mother-in-law, Joyce Holborn, was passionate about the work of the Salvation Army and helped out with their annual toy collection for many years.
“So it very much feels like picking up the baton from the great work she did.
“It is a humbling experience to know our small gesture can make such a big difference for struggling local families in the lead up to Christmas.”
A further £1,500 was donated to the Moses Project in Stockton towards providing Christmas Day dinner for families in poverty, along with addicts, alcoholics and the homeless.
The charity is led by local man Brian Jones, who recently received a Teesside Hero Award from the charity in recognition of the selfless work he and his fellow volunteers carry out.
Along with Middlesbrough Council’s In Out of the Cold project for the homeless, the Moses Project also received a share of 200 shoeboxes packed with winter essentials such as hats, scarves and gloves, collected by patrons and supporters of the Philanthropic Foundation.
Leading the way were property group Mandale, who also provided gifts for some of Teesside’s most needy families, as identified by charity Grandparents Plus.
Other companies donating shoeboxes of gifts included PX Group, AV Dawson, Tilly Bailey and Irvine, Erimus Insurance Brokers, Evolution Tax Advisors, Hunters Estate Agents, First Choice Labels, Handelsbanken, Middlesbrough Powerchair Football Club, Jayne Stephenson, Adrienne Stark and Sue Gaffney.
Other Teesside companies that support the Philanthropic Foundation as patrons include Bulkhaul, AV Dawson, CPD Bodies, Middlesbrough FC, Cleveland Cable Company, Carter Steel, RMB Auto, Devereux Transport, Cool Blue Brand Communications, Barclays Middlesbrough, Castlegate Shopping Centre and Pass.