And the good news keeps coming for the Rotary Club of Guernsey, with the Tree of Joy giving campaign also anticipated to reach more than 500 local children with gifts this Christmas.
For 27 years the club has organised the campaign with the help of local schools, social services and community organisations, which means more than 13,000 children in Guernsey have had a gift to unwrap on Christmas morning.
‘I remember once we had a last-minute request for a present, so we took the gift directly to the child’s house,’ said Jerry Girard, a Rotary Club member.
‘The mum opened the door with two small kids behind her. She was so grateful and she said people have no idea what it means to have something for their kids to unwrap on Christmas.’
The names of deserving children are put forward with a description of what they would like for Christmas by organisations and schools working in the community.
Businesses such as Creasey’s, Aladdin’s Cave and Fletcher Sports have gift tags in store for people to collect and return by Friday.
‘We’ve been doing this for so many years – and Guernsey has really taken it to heart and made it part of their Christmas season,’ said Mr Girard.
‘A lot of years we even get people who call us asking if we have any more tags for children because they want to be part of the campaign. It’s something a lot of families do every year to help the community.’
The Tree of Joy display on the Weighbridge roundabout serves as the focal point of the giving campaign. But the bad weather took its toll.
Rotarian Nigel Dorey said technicians were on site on Monday to upgrade part of the system.
The display features 32 light strings, each 110ft long, and Mr Dorey said the contractor did a brilliant job despite the weather.
‘The mast display has become a really iconic symbol of the start of Christmas for the Guernsey community because it’s so prominent,’ he said.
‘However, it’s really a symbol for the Tree of Joy giving campaign. The lights have not looked their best this season, but we’re delighted that the community is still picking up tags and giving gifts, which is the main thrust of the display.’