Salvation Army gifts bring joy to Norwich children
Salvation Army volunteers in Norwich have packed a record number of Tins and Toys boxes for their Christmas giveaway this year.
Rosie Ward, 80, and her husband Boyce, 88, have been Toys and Tins volunteers for around two decades. While they remain very modest and describe themselves as ‘privileged’ to carry out this work, their actions have been transformational. This year, they and other volunteers have packed 1900 boxes amid delivery problems.
When the Norwich Citadel Salvation Army first approached Mile Cross Corps with the idea of making Toys and Tins a joint effort, Rosie had just come to the end of an 18-year stint working as her local Salvation Army’s charity shop manager. She had delivered parcels for those in need at Christmas, so volunteering appealed.
Over the years the Toys and Tins operation has expanded hugely, with referrals increasing. All the roles are voluntary and include an overall appeal coordinator, an admin team liaising with requests for help and volunteers who prepare food boxes, fill toy bags and transport deliveries and collect gifts, all enjoying the combined fellowship of the operation.
Boyce said: “We’re very privileged. Most boxes are delivered by volunteers to agencies but at Mile Cross Corps we have estates in the area around us, so we can jump in the car to personally deliver.”
Rosie mentions a lady with learning difficulties who came with her carer to help. When she retired, the carer continued as a volunteer with her husband. Despite challenges such as Covid, Rosie says: “We have superb fellowship here. There is satisfaction in knowing how many people will benefit.”
Boyce adds: “When we get to know a family in need, then they have another child and a greater need and for some, need never goes away. There will always be need and it is a privilege to be able to do what we do.”