AN air stewardess swapped the skies for gathering supplies in a bid to make Christmas special for hundreds of disadvantaged kids across Renfrewshire.

Kelly McMillan, 32, ditched her job as a cabin crew member at Glasgow Airport for the day to take on the role of one of Santa’s helpers.

Staff at Johnstone’s social work office, at the town hall, were overwhelmed as a van crammed full of toys worth £3,500 arrived.

Mum-of-two Kelly, from Houston, co-ordinated a collection that saw 100 local people and businesses donate a mix of toys and money.

She said: “The social workers said they had never seen anything like it and one of the staff gave me about a dozen cuddles.

“Looking at the faces of the staff there, I just knew how many kids this will bring the magic of Christmas to.

“There were toys worth £3,500 crammed into the van – stacks of board games, prams, scooters, dolls, superhero toys.

“I had hoped for around £500 worth of toys to donate and this has far exceeded it.

“I thank everyone who donated. Everyone should be very proud of themselves.”

Kelly was inspired to start the collection as, growing up, Christmas wasn’t so special for her.

She said her dad was an alcoholic and she rarely received gifts.

However, 10 years later, Kelly’s father is now sober and “the best dad she should ask for.”

This inspired her to collect hundreds of toys for under-privileged kids.

And, after seeing the delighted reaction from staff, kind-hearted Kelly hopes to make her present delivery an annual project to help families in the area every year.

She added: “Donations came from people dropping toys off and people donating money for me to go and buy toys.

“They mainly came from local businesses in Bridge of Weir and Johnstone, plus my friends and friends of friends.

“I even got a donation from as far away as Australia.

“I couldn’t have done it without everyone helping and chipping in to make it possible. Everyone was fantastic.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokeswoman said: “A large donation of quality toys has been delivered to Children’s Services, based in Johnstone. These will be of great assistance to families living in the area.

“We would like to thank everyone who supported the donation.”