APPEAL: Amazed by generosity

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On Saturday, November 26, Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Appeal loaded 4,703 shoeboxes from Northumberland onto a lorry to take 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, and last year 11 million shoeboxes were sent.

Boxes from the UK are given to needy children around the world, regardless of religion. We call it ‘Unconditional Love in a Box to a Child’.

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. This was a great help for our drivers.

Thanks too to the Rev Adele Moorhouse and the congregation of the Methodist Church, Doxford Place, Cramlington, for allowing us to use your church again to process the boxes. This is the fourth year we have used the church and volunteers agreed that it is the best premises they have been in.

Thank you also to Northumbria Police who advised and supported us on loading the boxes onto the lorry.

Once again, we have been truly amazed at the generosity of people and children supplying completed boxes, as well as donations of knitting, hats, gloves, scarves, toiletries and stationery.

As in previous years, we received boxes with no money. Samaritans Purse does have to pay the transport costs. However, this year many individuals and organisations have held extra events to raise money to help with the transport costs, for which we are very grateful.

I know that the knitters and others have already started collecting for next year. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to all who have been involved this year and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Carol Nelson and Jackie Rogers,

Operation Christmas Child