Shoe boxes on their way to Albania

As the co-ordinators for the whole of Northumberland we would like to say a very big thank you to all the schools, churches, organisations, volunteers, knitters, drivers, checkers and packers who were involved with the Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal this year.

To all the Shoe Zone shops and Handie Stationery, thank you for being drop-off points in the area for the public. This was a great help for our drivers.

And to the Rev Adele Moorhouse and the congregation of the Methodist Church, Doxford Place, Cramlington, thank you from all of us for allowing us to use your church to process the boxes.

All the volunteers involved in checking the boxes agreed that the church was the best premises that they have been in.

It was warm and comfortable not like the cold draughty units they have had in the past.

We have been amazed at the generosity of people supplying completed boxes, donations of knitting hats, gloves, scarves, toiletries and stationery to fill the boxes.

A great number of boxes last year had no money in them so Samaritans Purse had to pay the transport costs.

However, this year many organisations of the public as well as supplying shoeboxes have held extra events to raise more money to help with the transport costs to cover the boxes that have no money in and for that we are very grateful.

On Friday, December 1, we loaded 4,435 shoe boxes onto a lorry which was taking them to needy children in Albania.

In a recent article we had said they were going to Belarus, but due to logistical problems with transport there was a change of plan for the boxes from Northumberland.

This number exceeded last year’s appeal when we sent 4,056. Even when there is a recession it seems that the people of Northumberland are still willing to help children who are less fortunate than themselves.

These boxes that are sent from Operational Christmas Child / Samaritans Purse are given to needy children around the world, regardless of religion.

We would also like to make it clear the Blythswood Care shoe boxes have nothing to do with our appeal. We do not put anything religious in our shoe boxes. We call it unconditional ‘Love in a box to a child’.

Although this year’s appeal is finished I know that the knitters and others have already started collecting for next year. Our heartfelt thanks goes to all of you who have been involved.

When you open your presents on Christmas morning you will know that a child somewhere in Albania will have a smile on their face when they open their shoe box because of the generosity of the people of Northumberland.

If you would like to know more or become involved please contact Carol Nelson on (01670) 736509 or Jackie Rogers on 07973 331748.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal