Cllr Chris Woodward is the latest Tunbridge Wells Mayor to head up the appeal, which was started in 1987 to ensure children in the Borough did not have to go without at Christmas time.
In the last 36 years, the Toy Appeal has ensured tens of thousands of children who may otherwise have gone without have received gifts and toys at Christmas.
There have been 35 different councillors elected to serve as Mayor since the scheme was first founded, but Cllr James Scholes served in the office twice and so headed up the appeal on two occasions.
Despite the pandemic, more than 500 children who otherwise would have gone without, received gifts last year when the appeal was headed by Cllr Joy Podbury.
Organiser, Karen Collins said this year the initiative may be needed even more than ever now. She told the Times: “We are so grateful to everyone who supported us last year, a difficult year for everyone.
“I would also like to thank all my volunteers, who worked like mad to get it all done in just two weeks. Without the generosity of donors and volunteers there would have been no Toy Appeal.”
She continued: “But this year it may be needed even more as there are many people who lost their jobs or who were on furlough over the last 12 months who may be struggling financially.”
The Toy Appeal receives toys donated by local people who can drop them off at various points around the town.
The toys, which must be boxed and new – not second-hand – are then given to families who may be struggling to buy presents for their children.
There are two ways to get involved:
Residents can choose a gift from an online list on the Toy Appeal website, buy the gift and then drop it off at the Town Hall or other locations, or people can donate money that will be used to purchase toys for those in need.
“We are very well supported by the Mayor’s Office and The Big Yellow Self Storage, and this year Royal Victoria Place and St George’s nursery will be hosting ‘Giving Trees’ and Maddisons in The Pantiles is one of our drop off point,” added Karen.
This year’s Toy Appeal is launching on Saturday, November 13 when the website, twmta.co.uk will go live to provide for more information to those wanting to get involved. The appeal will run until Friday, December 10.