Generous Donations for South Wales Evening Post’s ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ Campaign Fills Entire First Cymru Bus
Thousands of items generously donated by readers of the South Wales Evening Post in response to its ‘Everyone Deserves a Christmas’ Christmas appeal managed to fill an entire First Cymru bus the operator made available to collect donated goods for the campaign.
First Cymru bus driver Phil Connor and chaplain Rev Chris Lewis had to carefully stack boxes and bags as they drove around South Wales to collect donations from a dozen collection points. The bus operator volunteered to lend the campaign a helping hand after Phil, who in his elected role as First Cymru’s employee director represents staff in board meetings, suggested the bus operator got involved in the appeal and offered himself to drive a bus and collect the items which were filling up constituency offices of local AMs and MPs and the DVLA in the three weeks since the paper launched the appeal on 26 November.
Hundreds of people dropped off shopping bags and card board boxes full of food, neatly wrapped presents, christmas crackers, clothing and sleeping bags, tents and a campsite wardobe – and even a rocking horse.
Reverend Chris Lewis, a honoury minister at the Mount Zion Church in Bonymean who also manages a foodbank and has recently taken up the role of workplace chaplain at First Cymru, cleared his diary to help coordinate the collection with First Cymru, collection points and the South Wales Evening Post.
Talking about the collection, Rev Chris said: “It was amazing to see the bus getting fuller with bags and boxes as we made our way through the list. When we called at the third collection point it became evident just how much the campaign had struck a cord with the local community judging by the amount of boxes and full shopping bags we were carrying into our bus. It is truly heart-warming to see that people went to the effort of carefully wrapping presents for complete strangers as if they’re doing it for loved ones. At the fourth pick-up point I wondered if by the end the bus would be so full of donations there would be standing room only on the bus. As it turned out, the bus was bursting with donations long before we reached the last stop”.