On Saturday, November 26, we loaded 4,703 shoeboxes from Northumberland onto a lorry, which was taking them to needy children in Romania. This exceeded our total from last year by 200, which was absolutely excellent.
Romania is where Operational Christmas Child started in 1990. The charity now delivers to 130 of the poorest countries worldwide. Boxes sent from the UK are given to needy children around the world, regardless of religion.
We, the co-ordinators for Northumberland, 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 appeal.
To all the Shoe Zone, Spec Saver shops and Handie Stationery in Alnwick, thank you for being drop-off points.
And to the Rev Adele Moorhouse and the congregation of the Methodist Church, Doxford Place, Cramlington, thank you for allowing us to use your church again to process the boxes.
Thank you also to Northumbria Police who advised and supported us to load the boxes.
Once again, we have been truly amazed at the generosity of people supplying boxes and donations.
We did receive boxes with no money in them so Samaritans Purse has to pay the transport costs. However, many individuals and organisations have held extra events to raise money to help with these, and we are very grateful.
I know that the knitters and others have already started collecting for next year. Our heartfelt thanks go out to all of you who have been involved and we look forward to seeing you next year.
Operation Christmas Child