GENEROUS Huddersfield people have come up trumps.
When the Welcome Centre sent out an appeal for food and cash to help families and individuals in crisis at Christmas, staff were worried that the response would be weak.
But despite the harsh economic climate and spare cash being in short supply for many families, the centre has just had “the best response ever.”
Staff have been inundated with hundreds of donations of food, cash and Christmas presents for people in need this Christmas since their appeal appeared in the Examiner on December 9.
In the end they had so many contributions, many of which were given anonymously, that they had to call in extra volunteers to help sort and distribute everything.
They worked flat out until tea time on Friday, December 23 when the Welcome Centre, based at the Methodist Mission in Lord Street, closed for Christmas.
The centre’s Karen Selley said: “It has been absolutely fantastic. This year has been the best response we have ever had and we are all totally exhausted!
“We desperately needed donations when we made the appeal and they arrived by the trolley load.
“People were arriving in cars straight from the supermarkets with food and we have also had twice as many cash donations as normal.
“We are absolutely delighted and it has been very a very touching experience. We were surprised that so many of the donations were given anonymously.
“It seems that many people just wanted to give something to others in a quiet way. We did not expect it and it has been very moving.”
Karen said that one woman arrived with her four children. When staff gave her food, presents and selection boxes, she burst into tears and said to the youngsters: “You will be getting Christmas presents this year.”
Karen added: “I think the public are appreciating what they have got and how difficult it must be for some people at this time of year.
“We would like to say a big thank you to everybody and to the Examiner for publicising our appeal.”
Staff estimate that they have helped 400 families and individuals in difficulties this Christmas.
The centre is now in the fortunate position of having enough food to give out until the end of winter.
There are, however, still a couple of shortages – men’s outdoor coats and shoes. Anyone able to donate these should drop them off at the Welcome Centre at the Methodist Mission based in Lord Street, Huddersfield.