South Wales Argus teams up with Kings Church, Newport to bring festive cheer to the people of Gwent
9:30am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
Once again the Argus is teaming up with the King's Church, Newport to help spread the festive cheer to hundreds of people throughout Gwent.
This Christmas the church's Jesus Cares project is packing up hampers of food that are given out to families who can't make ends meet.
Dozens of volunteers give their time to label more than 60,000 food items and pack boxes to give out to groups who distribute the hampers to the needy.
The Argus has got on board with the project again this year to try and raise the profile of the great work already carried out by the church, based at Lower Dock Street, Newport, and encourage as many readers and local businesses as possible to pitch in.
Last year Argus readers managed to send out 2,500 hampers to those that need it, this year we want to try and send even more.
The hampers are made up of non-perishable foods but what we are looking for are Christmas treats that will make each hamper extra special this year.
Items that we are looking for you to donate include: Christmas puddings, mince pies, chocolates, biscuits, crisps, pickled onions, red cabbage, tinned soups or any other food item that will keep throughout the festive period.
The King's Church is also looking for any businesses that may have storage space that they can use to keep goods in until they are distributed.
We would like you to help spread the word of this worthy campaign and encourage your workplace, school, office or factory to set aside a box for staff and pupils to bring in their donations.
In return, we plan to feature those who support us and carry updates in the run up to Christmas.
So next time you pop to the supermarket, pick up a extra one or two items for our appeal and pop them into the Argus office on Cardiff Road, Newport.
We are also looking for businesses who would like to donate items to get in touch.
If you would like to support our appeal, contact Matthew Knowles on 01633 777008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
A family's life changed when they received a Christmas food hamper from Jesus Cares.
Donna Richards, 37, and her husband Matthew, 34, from Duffryn, said that four years ago they and their four children barely had a family life.
They were sent a Christmas food hamper after being referred by Duffryn Community Link.
Mrs Richards said: "We were at our lowest point, and we barely had a home or a family. The kids were worried about us, about food, about everything. They would get so upset when we argued. It wasn't a nice place to be."
"The food hamper made a lot of difference. It came to us at our lowest point and helped us. Not just with food, they brought presents and gave us support.
"Before that, we weren't very sociable, we didn't mix with other people, but they got us to join groups, and I did some courses, which really helped my confidence.
"I'm now a community care worker and Matthew is a stay at home dad. We've saved £1,000 for Christmas this year."
Mr Richards said: "We just need to spend the money now! We're in a much better position this year. Jesus Cares gave us the help we needed to stand on our own feet."
Mrs Richards added: "People from King's Church came round and asked the children what they wanted for Christmas. Then about a week before Christmas they brought a big present round for each of the kids, it was brilliant.
"It really helped us as at that time we weren't able to give them those presents they wanted so much."
Bob Barry, Community organiser at Duffryn Community Link, said: "They were in a bad place at that time and they are now in a much better place.
"The improvement in their lives shows why this scheme is worth doing. They are just one success story out of hundreds."