Shoeboxes bring festive joy for poor kids of world

SHOEBOXES packed with Christmas gifts from Hucknall, Bulwell and the rest of Nottinghamshire have been delivered to vulnerable youngsters in lands as varied as Belarus, Romania, Liberia and Swaziland.

As usual, the Dispatch district gave its backing to the Operation Christmas Child initiative, which is one of the UK’s largest annual projects for children.

Crammed shoeboxes, full of items ranging from toys and toiletries to sweets and pens, were donated by individuals, schools, businesses, churches and community organisations.

They were handed in at various locations throughout Hucknall and Bulwell before being sorted by volunteers at processing centres in Mansfield and Nottingham.

Jane Simmonds, Nottinghamshire regional manager for Operation Christmas Child, said: “We had shoeboxes from all over Nottinghamshire — quite fantastic.

“It is tremendous to see such kindness, particularly at a time when the economic downturn is hitting so many people. Everyone who has donated a shoebox can be absolutely certain that it will have a very positive impact on the child who receives it.

“These children often receive nothing at Christmas and many are living in really difficult circumstances, ranging from street shelters or orphanages to children’s homes or hospitals.

“Some do live with their families but even then, we see children living in very harsh conditions, simply because the families are so poor.”

Jane added: “On behalf of Operation Christmas Child, I would like to say thankyou to everyone in Hucknall, Bulwell and Nottinghamshire who took part. We know each shoebox brings happiness to the child who receives it.”