Heartwarming to see people think of others at Christmas

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In an age of ever-increasing commercialism, Christmas can seem like a massive shopathon where stress levels rise as bank balances fall.

The message of peace and goodwill to all men can tend to get lost in the festive hurly-burly .

So it is truly heartwarming to report today how there are those who still take time to think of others less fortunate than themselves at this time of year.

Our front page story tells how a message on Facebook resulted in the Inn Lodge Hotel in Portsmouth receiving more than 400 presents – including a brand new mountain bike – to give to families that use the Southern Domestic Abuse Service.

Delighted Inn Lodge manager Sue Moorhead said: ‘It shows when Portsmouth gets together, we are a mighty city.’

And Yvonne Carter, deputy service manager at SDAS, said there had been tears of joy from mums who had been so worried about how they were going to afford gifts for their children.

Meanwhile, caring chef Billy Willett will be frying up free breakfasts at his burger van in the centre of Commercial Road on Christmas Day as his contribution to The News’ Show Them You Care This Christmas campaign for the homeless.

Since it was launched at the start of the month, people have donated hundreds of items at our HQ at 1000 Lakeside in Western Road, North Harbour.

All the items will be distributed to good causes and charities later this week, but there’s still time to give warm clothing, toiletries, food vouchers, new towels, non-perishable foods, coats and sleeping bags.

We also report today how scores of volunteers turned up at Wecock Church in Waterlooville, which is also a food bank, to pack up items ready to be donated to more than 100 families.

Felicity Mellows, who has volunteered at the food bank for five years, said: ‘I know it will make all the difference to those on the receiving end of the items. This is what Christmas is all about.’

Felicity, we couldn’t put it better ourselves.