THE Isle of Wight Christmas Toy Appeal has been a huge success as the organisers revealed they have smashed their original toy target.
The appeal, which has been supported by Rob da Bank and the Bestival Foundation, the County Press
and Isle of Wight Radio, was set up by Daniel and Deborah Rooke to bring Christmas to some of the Island’s most deserving children, from babies to 16 year olds.
The appeal, which comes to an end at noon today (Friday), originally aimed to collect 500 toys, but this morning it was revealed they had already had more than 2,000 donated.
Deborah said: "Daniel and I would like to thank every one who has donated a gift. We have been overwhelmed by people’s generosity and can’t quite believe how wholeheartedly the Island has embraced this appeal.
"We are so incredibly grateful to everyone who has helped to make our first Isle of Wight Christmas Toy Appeal such a success."
She said: "It's been overwhelming. I haven't really let myself think about it yet. It was really emotional hearing everyone phoning the radio this morning and just how generous everyone has been.
"We're really so proud of everyone. The Island has stepped up and embraced it.
"We've definitely seen there is a need for it and although we've reached our target, every single toy will go to a worthy cause. It's been incredible."
After a last push to get as many donations as possible, Daniel was surprised by the Isle of Wight Round Table, which made a donation of more than 50 toys for the appeal, while he was giving an interview live on Isle of Wight Radio.
He said: "People have been so generous. Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco customers have made a significant contribution to the appeal, by collecting toys and by providing essential supplies such as wrapping paper and boxes.
"Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all the supermarkets on the Island supported the Isle of Wight Christmas Toy Appeal next year? We hope they will."
Dozens of volunteers, including Rob da Bank and the Bestival team, plus staff from the County Press
and Isle of Wight Radio, will being joining Deborah and Daniel to wrap all the gifts.
They will then be delivered to the Island’s deserving children via St Mary’s Hospital, The Children’s Society, the Isle of Wight Foodbank, the Women’s Refuge, the Salvation Army, and the YMCA Young Carers scheme, among many others.