Imagine you’re reading your child’s letter to Father Christmas and you realise with a heavy heart that there’s no way you can make their dreams come true this year.
No Mum or Dad wants to disappoint their children at Christmas. Yet this is the nightmare facing parents who are struggling to afford basic meals, let alone Christmas treats.
Many have been driven into debt as the Covid-19 pandemic has taken its toll on jobs.
The scale of the problem is huge.
More than 4 million children in this country are living in poverty, according to official figures.
What that means in practice is Mums and Dads being forced to cut back on food and clothes for their kids. As winter arrives, many will face an agonising choice between heating and eating.
I’ve seen a lot of poverty in my 10 years as an ambassador for Save the Children. When I visit this amazing charity’s work in Britain and abroad, two things always strike me.
The first is that so many families are barely surviving without basics the rest of us take for granted.
The second is that no matter how tough their start in life, children are full of hope for the future.
So today, I’m appealing to you to protect the magic of Christmas by giving whatever you can to the Mirror’s appeal for Save the Children.
The money will pay for emergency grants to families who, through no fault of their own, have been all but crushed by the events of a terrible year none of us will ever forget.
These grants will cover food, learning packs and toys.
You’ll be putting food on the table of a family who are going hungry.
You’ll be helping to educate a little girl or boy who’s fallen behind their classmates because they didn’t have a laptop for remote lessons when schools were closed.
You’ll be lighting up the faces of children who wrote to Santa because they believe in the power of Christmas magic.
They don’t deserve to be hungry. They don’t deserve to be cold. And they don’t deserve to be disappointed on Christmas morning.
Please will you help make their dreams come true?