SALVATION Army volunteers are soldiering on against an ever increasing demand for their Christmas goodwill.
This year more families than ever before are expected to register for support as part of the Toy Appeal run in conjunction with the Chronicle.
Christmas can be a desperate time for families scraping by with little or no spare cash to give their children the festive season they deserve.
As always, we hope to make it a Christmas to remember for children whose parents cannot afford to leave presents under the tree.
But the appeal again needs the support of bighearted readers who have never failed us in the past. Books, toys, games - you name it, we need it!
Some are already starting to arrive at the Salvation Army base in Prince Albert Street, Crewe, but many more will be needed over the next few weeks.
Donations of money, toys, toiletries, books and arts materials are all welcome, but organisers will only take new toys to ensure every child gets the same.
Appeal co-ordinator Sybil Perry said: ''We have some great volunteers who are already working very hard on the appeal, but there is such a lot of organising to do, it is important to start early.
'Last year we filled over 1,000 toy parcels and 700 food parcels. We hope we can rely on people again as the list of families needing support seems to grow every year.'
Nearer Christmas volunteers work round the clock to fill food parcels and gift stockings for hundreds of OAPs, families and children across the borough.
Up to 10 helpers at any one time will unpack boxes of donated toys and tinned food to make up parcels for the needy people who have registered for support.
Sybil and her team have to ensure all the paperwork is done correctly and none of the parcels get mixed up.
They match gifts to girls and boys and their age group. We are appealing for toys, or money which will go toward gift vouchers for older children. Businesses can also lend their support to help give us a boost.
You can register to receive a Christmas parcel from the appeal if you are in receipt of Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance.
Proof must be taken into the Salvation Army Citadel on Prince Albert Street, Crewe, on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday morning. Last day to register is Friday, November 19.
Donations can be made either at the Salvation Army Citadel on Prince Albert Street, Crewe or at the Chronicle offices at 32-34 Victoria Street, Crewe and 3a Mill Street, Nantwich.