The cost of living crisis is crippling families up and down the country – and its impact on children is being heavily felt.
Staff at Dunelm say they have been left ‘heartbroken’ after children started asking for basic gifts as part of the store’s Christmas appeal.
One of the requests they had was from a boy under the age of 10 who requested ‘a hat and a biscuit’.
Another boy under the age of 12 asked for ‘a teddy to hold in case Santa doesn’t come to me’.
Meanwhile, a young girl asked for a ‘selection box in case Santa doesn’t come’.
As part of the appeal, pre-written tags are on a Christmas tree in the store which shoppers can take home, purchase and return the selected gift to the store before December 11.
The most requested items from both children and adults include basics like hats, scarves and gloves.
Children often ask for chocolate too, while adults are in need of toiletries – with some asking for a pair of clean socks.
Staff member Kelly Nichols, of the Dunelm store in St Helens, regularly takes to social media to share the appeal.
In one post, she wrote: ‘How are we in 2022, and facing this?!
‘Help us to deliver Joy this year to so many people who are facing a Christmas with absolutely nothing.
‘If you’d like to donate, but can’t get down to store & collect a tag, I’m happy to send you some via Messenger, simply deliver them to us, at your convenience, before December 11.’
Many people were quick to comment about how the requests for basics has made them feel ‘sad’.
Kelly said the community’s response has been positive, writing: ‘I have just sent out our 200th tag via Messenger, we have the most amazing ladies waiting to receive tags in bulk for their schools and businesses to fulfil and we’re down to single figures on the tree in-store.
‘We do have more tags on the way, but if you’d like to help now, please just buy a tin or packet of food from anywhere, and drop it into store.’
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