It started with a tweet and led to Huddersfield Police Station transforming into a Santa’s Grotto.
And it’s all thanks to the kind-hearted people of Huddersfield who stepped in to help two little boys taken into care.
On Friday PC Sally Baines tweeted: “Just been told about two kids under six who have been taken into foster care. Never had pillows, toothbrushes, toys. I am heartbroken.”
The Examiner pledged its support and publicised the police appeal for Christmas presents for two little boys, aged five and six, who had no possessions of their own.
Just been told about 2 kids under 6 who have been taken into Foster Care. Never had pillows, toothbrushes, toys.— Pc Sally Baines (@WYP_SallyB) December 16, 2016
I am heartbroken
It touched the hearts of people across Huddersfield. Footfall to Huddersfield Police Station has probably never been so high as generous people called in with donations of clothes, toys, teddies, books, chocolate and crafts.
One little boy raided his own toy box to donate toy cars, others donated scooters and bikes for them to play on.
PC Baines, based in Huddersfield CID, said people had been donating all weekend with some moved to tears by the plight of the young boys.
She said: “It’s just overwhelming. I naively took a little box down to the help desk and thought it would be lovely if we could fill that to give to these kids.
“People have been so generous and lovely and this is the result.
“I’m a mother as well as being a police officer. I see some not very nice things in this job and I know this isn’t an isolated incident. Things like this get to me because I’m a big softy.
“We’re going to get as much of it as we can to the boys without it being too much. But I want a lot of it to go to children in similar situations within Kirklees because there are a lot of children who need things like this and it’s going to help so many people.”
When asked what her message was to the people who had donated, she glanced at piles of gifts and said: “Look at what you’ve done and achieved, thank you so much.
“This is not going to just help those two little boys, it’s going to help loads of little boys and girls all over Kirklees. Thank you so much.”
PC Baines is currently sorting through the donations to give to the boys. The bulk of the remaining donations will go to children in care.
She also hopes to bring a smile to the faces of children in hospital over Christmas. Edible donations will go to the Welcome Centre in Huddersfield, plus they’re hoping to make donations to Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Barnardo’s, Kirkwood Hospice and Save The Children.
And the public have praised the officers. On Facebook Paula Butler wrote: “Immaterial things we take for granted like pillows and toothbrushes. What a lovely Christmas these two boys will have.
“Well done Examiner, organisers and the Huddersfield community. Lovely to still see Christmas spirit.”