In a Christmas campaign named ‘Operation Jingle Bells’, Loughborough Students’ Union Action Section has collected over 944 gifts for the local charity, Toys on the Table, breaking previous records set.
The annual campaign, established in 2018 by the Action Executive Officer 2018-19, Joel Brocklehurst, works with local charity Toys on the Table, which works to provide underprivileged children with Christmas presents and does so through donations by Loughborough students, staff, and members of the public.
In 2018, over 700 toys and £300 of donations were collected by the campaign and gained regional press as a result.
This year, LSU Action continued the tradition despite the pandemic. Speaking to Label, Action Section Chair Jodie Evans said “We took on the challenge… knowing the importance of the campaign and the charity we work with had grown.
“With the global situation in mind, we set what we saw as a relatively achievable target of 100 toys.”
This year, due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, the campaign was held solely online, with support from across all of Loughborough Students’ Union.
“24 promotional videos were released, advertising the Just Giving page, the Amazon Wishlist, and advice on how to donate in person.” Ms Evans added.
On the first day of the campaign, 75 presents were already donated, causing LSU Action to double their target. “We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the number of donations.”
In order to push the campaign further, members of the LSU Action Committee set themselves individual targets, and once that target was met they had to complete a personal challenge. Ms Evans told us that “Corey had to partake in the Naga Chilli Pepper Challenge.”
The campaign has not gone without criticism, however, with some citing that it would have been better to use local companies to order the gifts rather than using Amazon.
Dear @lsumedia happy to hear that you are providing gifts for disadvantaged children. However, why ordering from Amazon, which is infamous for exploiting their workers? Would not be better to support independent businesses, which are also struggling? https://t.co/1OXtsTELda
— GiuliaPiccolino (@GiuliaPiccolino) December 11, 2020
In a statment given to Label, Ms Evans stated that she is so thankful to all those that helped to promote the campaign, and those that donated: “They SMASHED it”.
Label has since discovered that LSU Action has claimed to have collected 1000 gifts.
However, these claims are based on both money raised and actual gifts collected.
LSU Action received 175 in-person donations, 189 gifts donated through their Amazon Wishlist, and raised £4695 which they calculated to be the equivalent of £7.50 per gift equalling 626 gifts.