Devotees of Oldham Hindu temple donate Christmas presents for underprivileged children
Image by Shree Swaminarayan Mandir
A Hindu temple in Oldham has delivered on its aim to keep the Christmas spirit alive.
Worshippers at the Shree Swaminarayan Mandir on Copster Hill Road came together to ensure that children from underprivileged households in the town receive a Christmas present this year.
Resident Sally Mahel appealed to the community members to make donations to help create a joyful festive season for the youngsters who otherwise would not be able to get a gift.
Mahel said, “I was absolutely blown away by the support from those who attend the temple.
“I was amazed by the generosity they’ve shown. It’s fantastic and it will definitely make a world of difference to some of the area’s less fortunate children this Christmas.”
Attendees of the temple who took part in the scheme either purchased gifts amounting to £15 for the children they were assigned, or donated the money to Mahel and her team to buy the gifts.
The temple opened recently in July this year, but the sense of togetherness could be seen as a total of 200 presents were bought which came to a lumpsum of £3200.
Geeta Nardani, a member of the temple’s community outreach team, said, “There’s been a massive show of support from so many people who use the temple, as well as Strength Hub in Oldham, which is a gym that’s used by a lot of people who go to the temple.
“Bookers Cash and Carry in Gorton have also shown their support by donating chocolates to be given to the children with each present.
“So many people have mucked in and that’s overwhelming, especially when money is tight for so many at this time of year.”
Temple trustee Hitesh Bhudia said, “Sally has become well known in the community for her fantastic work in recent years, providing thousands of Easter eggs for those people in the borough who are less fortunate than ourselves.
“Now that she’s turned her hand to transforming Christmas for those who would otherwise be enduring a miserable time, we were only too happy to help.
“Our members contributed 217 presents and we can only hope it helps to make the festive season that little bit more enjoyable or children around the borough.”