THE PHONE calls, rather than the money, were what meant most to the two small charities that benefited from The Independent's Christmas Appeal for the Disabled, which closed yesterday having raised a total of pounds 58,152.
Both charities - Kids, which works for independence for disabled children throughout the UK, and Action on Disability and Development, which does the same with children and adults throughout the Third World - were inundated with calls and letters.
They came every day, from all over the country, according to Sam Brier, the chief executive at Kids. "They came from parents wanting playschemes or help with home learning, wanting help with getting their child into a mainstream school, or just wanting to know how they could get a break, once in a while," he said. Other calls were from people offering help rather than requesting it. And yet what moved him most were the calls from parents who were just expressing relief to have discovered that they were not alone in how they experienced the emotional trauma of coping with a child with disabilities.
"A father from Wakefield, upon reading the article where a group of parents shared their feelings and troubles, rushed into his kitchen and told his wife, `I told you that there were others like us. I knew we couldn't be the only ones going through these battles'. …