Facebook 'fairy godmother' aids quest for Lego cards
Published on: 23 Jun 2017
MUM Jo Harris has been hailed a star after coming to the rescue of hundreds of local children caught up in the Lego trading card craze.
Youngsters in the area have been collecting the sought-after cards, issued by supermarket Sainsbury's, but have been left disappointed after not being able to get their hands on the full set of 140 cards.
But Jo, who lives in Emersons Green, kindly came to their rescue, setting up a Facebook page for mums living in BS16 where they could trade cards for free on behalf of their children.
Jo, 48, said: "I belong to a Facebook page called Emersons Green Mums, who are wonderfully supportive but I could see the feed was getting full up with requests for Lego cards.
"I had at least 100 spares so thought if I started another Facebook page just for mums who wanted to get specific cards for their children, I could get rid of my spares and maybe help a few people out."
The new page, called Free Lego Card Swaps for BS16, was at first just made up from the handful of mums from the original group but very quickly another 100 mums had joined. Word quickly spread and Jo found herself dealing with more than 350 people all eager to get their hands on the elusive cards.
"People just kept joining. It's worked really well. Everyone has been really wonderful helping each other out. I get spares dropped to me all the time."
A set of four 'Create the World' Lego trading cards was given away by Sainsbury's from May 3 to June 13 with every £10 worth of shopping. The chain also sold £2 collectors' albums for children to stick their cards in and monitor which cards were needed to complete their collection.
The cards caught the imaginations of young people everywhere, all desperate to swap cards with their friends so they could fill their albums.
Parents started to drop their spares to Jo's house so she could match them up with people's requests and before Jo knew it she was spending 12 to 14 hours every day administering her scheme.
One child came into school crying because they couldn't complete their book but Jo was able to unite them with their missing cards.
Jo, who lives with husband Dave, 16-year-old son Jack and daughter Lucy, 14, said: "I've become a one-stop shop!"
"I told the mums I needed more swaps so I could go on to help other people so they started posting them through my door. It's been taking me 12-14 hours a day to go through all of the Facebook posts and to sort out all the cards. It's non-stop!"
Jo has lost track of the number of cards she has dealt with but says it must be thousands and thousands.
Such is Jo's dedication, she even dashed to a Sainsbury's store in Gloucester Road because she'd heard they had collectors books available which had sold out in stores closer to home.
After buying up the books, she immediately put them on the Facebook page to sell at face value.
Jo said: "I rang the shop at 9.45pm on a Saturday night to find out if they had any books left and was told they did so I jumped in the car in the pouring rain, drove there and bought 20! I came home and put them on the page, limiting them to one each and they went straight away. People were crying out for them."
The scheme finished on June 13, so things should start to slow down for Jo at some point but at the moment she's still busy.
"Out of the 350 members there must be more than 300 who have finished their books as a result of the Facebook page.
"So many cards were given away that people ended up with spares they didn't know what to do with.
" I thought it would be a shame to throw them away when I knew there would be kids that did want them."
It seems Jo's efforts haven't gone unnoticed.
"I've had flowers, boxes of chocolates and thank you cards from the children I've helped. One child was so delighted that he star-jumped all the way up my drive to pick up the last card he needed.
" It's just lovely to see the kids so happy."