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Sunday Post Appeal: Cash For Kids’ very own Mrs Claus has started to hit the shops

Cash for Kids volunteers (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)
Cash for Kids volunteers (Andrew Cawley / DC Thomson)

Ann Marie Miller is on a mission when she does her Christmas shopping.

Because she’s not just buying for her nearest and dearest – she’s buying for hundreds of disadvantaged kids.

The regional charity manager for Cash For Kids is a modern-day Mrs Claus.

And right now she’s choosing gifts for children of all ages – to give them a Christmas they will never forget.

The Sunday Post has teamed up to support the Mission Christmas Appeal.

But we still need you to keep the donations and cash coming in for this fantastic cause.

We joined the team last week on the first of the big gift-buying sprees. Forget a bag or two of goodies – think trolleys and, indeed, cages full of gifts.

We’re at the Gyle Shopping Centre in Edinburgh and Boots is the first stop.

“I start seriously thinking about what the ‘in’ trends are about September,” says Ann Marie, as she scans the shelves.

“I need to really be sure what the boys and girls and young adults want.”

Such is the scale of Ann Marie’s retail blitz, store assistant manager Lizzie Leigh is on hand, blue clipboard at the ready.

First on her radar is a Match My Mood beauty box from Seventeen, which Ann Marie knows is spot-on for girls.

“I’ll take the lot,” she says briskly, and Lizzie gets someone to clear all five shelves.

Soap and Glory products and a French Connection handbag with toiletries follow before she turns her attention to the boys.

FCUK toiletries and a big basket of Ted Baker goodies are her picks.

“The Ted Baker one will make a main gift to go along with the likes of wallet, scarf and gloves,” she says.

“The other ones will be stocking fillers that go along with a big present, maybe something like one of the mini-drones that are hot.”

Ann Marie’s eagle eyes are on the three-for-two deals and any other special offers that will make her budget go further.

While presents are handed in to donating stations across the country, many are for toddlers to early teens.

Gifts for babies and older teens, boys especially, are much fewer, hence the shopping sprees with donated cash.

In just this one trip in one store – M&S and WH Smith are next for the day-long blitz – hundreds of items have been picked that will make Christmas so much more special for kids.

“We always love helping and knowing that come the big day these things will bring a smile to so many faces,” adds Lizzie.

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Sunday Post Appeal: Help Cash For Kids deliver festive fun to kids in poverty this Christmas