A HUGE ‘thank you’ has been given to generous strangers for a decade of giving.
Pam Marshall, founder of Hannah’s Holiday Home, first started donating Christmas presents to children on the Piam Brown Ward, at Southampton General Hospital, in 2004 following the death of her daughter Hannah.
The 10-year-old died of Hodgkins lymphoma but while being treated at the ward she was delighted with a present given to her by a member of the public she’d never met under the Giving Tree scheme.
Pam, from Waterlooville, and her son Adam, now 18, vowed to carry on the tradition for other children and have just delivered 200 gifts to youngsters at Piam Brown and the children’s ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
And she estimates that over the past 10 years she has been able to give away more than 1,500 presents.
Pam said: ‘I can’t believe it’s 10 years. People have been so kind and generous. I’d like to thank everyone who has ever given a present, it means so much to the children.
‘No matter what your budget, from a selection box to an iPod, it is the sentiment that makes it.
‘Hannah was given a cartoon mug with her name and a poem and she absolutely loved it. She couldn’t believe that someone who’d never even met her could be so kind.
‘She kept showing everyone and made us promise we’d do it the following year, but unfortunately she had passed away by then. But Adam and I have always continued it.’
Pam gives all those who want to contribute the sex and age of a child and it is up to the giver how much they spend. The presents start arriving at Pam’s home at the end of October and fill an entire room.
Hannah’s Holiday Home provides breaks for families with seriously ill children in two luxury holiday homes, in the New Forest and Hayling Island.
A third holiday home is planned next year. Go to hannahsappeal.org