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Rio Ferdinand pledges £500k worth of Christmas toys to Manchester charity

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has donated £500,000 worth of toys to a local charity for Christmas.

Ferdinand, who has also provided 11,500 sleeping bags to be given to homeless people in Manchester, has pledged the money to Cash for Kids, run by local radio station Key 103, on behalf of himself and his restaurant, Rosso.

The charity offers help to children living in poverty and those who have suffered abuse, deprivation or neglect across Manchester.

Ex-England international Ferdinand made the donation last week, with the toys being delivered to the Mission Christmas warehouse ahead of distribution to children in need.

“As a father myself I couldn’t see children going without opening a present this Christmas Day,” Ferdinand was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“The work that Cash for Kids at Key 103 do is truly amazing. I’m glad that my restaurant Rosso and I can be involved in this and help put a smile on locals kids’ faces this Christmas Day.”

Ferdinand added on Key 103’s Breakfast Show: “Me and the guys at Rosso have seen what’s been going on in the city, and with it being Christmas we know there are a lot of people less fortunate than we are. So we have decided to donate £500,000 worth of toys and gifts.

“But Manchester has got to get behind what we are doing — everyone can get involved and donate what they can.”

espn.com

Anonymous donation pays off with fresh food for 2,000 families over Christmas

A generous donation to a Toronto organization will be providing local families in need with an invaluable Christmas present: fresh, healthy food.

Two thousand families will be able to have a home-cooked meal thanks to an anonymous gift of $ 50,000 to FoodShare, a local non-profit organization that provides families with fresh produce.

Volunteers are hurrying to pack food provided by local farmers and the Ontario Food Terminal, after the donation was finalized last week.

Heidi Pyper, spokesperson at FoodShare Toronto, says that families will have access to “nourishing, fresh produce” just in time for the holiday season.

“Most holiday food donations collect non-perishable items, but our food boxes are providing fresh and nutritious produce straight from Ontario’s food terminal to families that don’t have as much,” she said.

After receiving the large donation, Pyper says that food distributors and farmers have been providing a helping hand in working with the agency, as well as waiving a few shipment fees due to the generous donation.

“We have a list of volunteers who have been packing boxes for days,” Pyper said. “We only had four days to make it happen after hearing news of the donation last week.”

The families will receive three pounds of apples, five oranges, cranberries, a head of lettuce, butternut squash, cabbage, a two-pound bag of carrots, a two-pound bag of onions, a 10-pound bag of potatoes, bananas and pineapples. About 51 per cent is local food.

“It’s incredible,” said Linda Curley, manager of community engagement at the Birchmount Bluffs Neighbourhood Centre.

The Birchmount centre is just one of many other non-profit community centres that have been working with FoodShare to provide low-income families with fresh vegetables and fruit. Others include the Mount Dennis Neighbourhood Centre, Islamic Social Services, Rexdale Health Centre, Good Neighbours Good Food Market at Toronto Community Housing, and UNISON Lawrence Health Centre. All are United Way agencies.

“In a way it’s unfortunate that more families are unable to have this fresh food, but the generous donation will help stretch out food boxes for the next year,” Curley said.

Curley says her organization has been able to raise donations to give holiday toys and presents to children during the holiday season. But the food donation came as a total surprise.

“Now we’ll be able to stretch out donations all-year-long to our families,” Curley said. “Just the other day, a mother came in excited to receive her fresh box of food. She told me ‘it’s soup season’ — they’re so happy to receive fresh food.”

thestar.com

Local teen in need of Christmas miracle gets kidney donation

A valley teen received the gift of life for Christmas thanks to an organ transplant.

14-year-old Michael Alexander suffers from several serious illnesses and has undergone more than 80 surgeries.

For more than two years he’s needed a kidney transplant. On Wednesday his wish for a donor came true.

“He’s got a lot of angels watching over him that’s for sure,” said Pamela Henry, Michael’s mother.

It was a long 24 hours for Pamela after she finally got the call she’d been waiting for, a kidney for her son.

“It was very surreal. It was kind of like ‘are you serious? Don’t mess with me!’ And she said it’s a perfect match,” said Pamela.

Pamela spoke to us from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, California where Michael is recovering from the kidney transplant.

Pamela says Michael was born with multiple heart and kidney disabilities.

“Doctors honestly didn’t think he would make it 24 hours and here he is almost 15,” said Pamela.

Michael has fought hard to beat the odds.

“Everything has been just a fight,” said Ivy Henry, Michael’s grandmother.

Along the way, he’s had his family’s support.

“The holidays have always been emotional for us. Always,” said Pamela.

This isn’t the first time the family has had a holiday miracle. One year ago he had heart surgery that turned out for the best.

Michael’s mother says her faith has been tested, but ultimately she believes thing will work out.

“I’ve been doing this almost 15 years by myself, but I have my mom and my stepdad and sister. They have helped me, but being a single mother it’s not easy,” said Pamela.

While Pamela and Michael won’t be back to Las Vegas in time for Christmas, they’re overjoyed about receiving the ultimate gift this holiday season.

“It’s truly a Christmas miracle. I mean our prayers have been answered,” said Pamela.

Pamela and Michael are staying at the hospital in California for at least six weeks while doctors monitor his recovery.

The family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for medical expenses and are asking for your help.

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Source: ONTD_Political

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