Super elf – Laura Cannon


We at OPFS wouldn’t be able to provide families that we support with gifts for their children and food at Christmas if it wasn’t for the incredible support from individuals and organisations that donate, and our hardworking volunteers and staff. We are overwhelmed and so thankful for everyone’s support for our Christmas appeals. We wanted to take this opportunity to shine a spotlight on Laura Cannon has been fundraising for OPFS for five now with the support of her friends and work colleagues. They donate absolutely loads of toys for our families, so much so that Kangaroo storage give her a unit for free to store all the items. Last year alone she provided toys for over 100 families.

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How did you first hear of our Christmas appeal and when did you start contributing towards it?

I seen post of Facebook in 2015 with various charities needing presents and support at Christmas and I decided it was something I wanted to help with.  OPFS was one of the charities I was donating to, and since 2018 I have focussed on collecting donations only for OPFS.  I read about families struggling, If I can take some of that pressure off families and put a smile on a child’s face by donating as much as possible.

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What motivates you to continue giving and collecting gifts for OPFS Christmas appeal?

Christmas is my favourite time of year, I have lots of happy memories celebrating Christmas with my family. My Dad who also loved Christmas and made it really special, died in 2013.  Since he’s passed it’s a way of keeping his Christmas magic alive and being able to spread to other families.

I  look forward to Christmas from August. From the 1st of December I will have Christmas music on.

If my contributions mean single parents don’t have to dread  Christmas and have something to look forward, that makes me feel good. I get a buzz and happiness out of being able to help.

Laura has incredibly donated over 2000 gifts during the last 3 years! Helping children of single parent families across Glasgow and Lanarkshire. She campaigns tireless throughout the year to make sure that that children have a magical time at Christmas. Her fundraising activities are greatly appreciated by everyone at OPFS and our families. On behalf of us all we want to say a massive thank-you.

- Linda Pople, Manager, Glasgow & Lanarkshire Services

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Why do you choose to support OPFS over other charities that ask for donations at Christmas?

When I first starting donating gifts at Christmas, I divided them between a few different charities. When I met the staff and volunteers at OPFS I seen that it’s not just a job, and they really care about the families they support. The staff support families all year round, not just at Christmas.

I feel that my efforts are really appreciated by OPFS and the families.

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How do you find space for the hundreds of presents you donate?

Since 2018 my house was overloaded with presents. I contacted lots of storage units, Kangaroo storage in Shettleston asked me what it was for. When I explained it was for donating Christmas presents to charity they offered me the space for free. They have been a massive help and I’m no longer falling over presents at home. This year and last they have given me a van too. They also put up posters and collection box. So now the community of Shettleston is coming together to get involved.

Find out how you can support our Christmas appeal. You can also contribute to #BeAnElfSpreadCheer by sharing messages and tips for Christmas.

For tips and advice about Christmas, you can read our single parents guide to Christmas

How to you organise so many gifts to donate each year?

I advertise on my Facebook – my friends and family help out as much as they can. I look out for sales such as black friday and start buying gifts with the best deals I can find.
My family are proud. The first year it was just something I did myself. Then gradually it grew each year. It brings my family and friends together, donating together to help other families.