Lorry-loads of love on their way to Romania thanks to shoe box appeal
NORTH East Lincolnshire's annual shoe box appeal looks set to smash the 20,000 barrier once again.
Yesterday, the second lorry-load of presents for poverty-stricken children left Grimsby as part of this year's Operation Christmas Child.
About 10,000 shoeboxes, filled with Christmas treats donated by generous members of the public were loaded onto the lorry bound for Romania.
It departed from the Rock Foundation's headquarters at the former Holme Hill School building, in Wellington Street, where a team of around 140 volunteers have spent the past month busily packing.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
It came almost a fortnight after the first lorry, carrying around 8,000 boxes, set off for Liberia.
And with the third and final lorry departing on Friday, the shoeboxes are still coming in thick and fast.
Although the number of shoeboxes donated by North East Lincolnshire may not top last year's total of 25,000, appeal co-ordinator Pam Hodge believes this year's campaign has been another resounding success, especially given the gloomy financial climate.
She said: "We don't know the total yet because we have still got boxes coming in, but I think we've got about 20,000 so far. Given the current climate I think we've done really well."
Pam said the destination of the last lorry is still yet to be confirmed by Samaritan's Purse, the international charity which runs the appeal.
However she said it was likely to be Bosnia – a country which has never previously taken delivery of shoeboxes from North East Lincolnshire.
She revealed that two of the local volunteers would be travelling to Romania next week to hand over some of the shoeboxes to needy children there.
"We have had lots of volunteers and they have been absolutely fantastic," she said.
"We just couldn't do it without them.
"We have had ladies knitting for us, people donating everything from toiletries, scarves and toys, to people helping us with the admin and loading the lorries. It is great to see the community come together.
"Without their help it would not happen and these children would never receive these boxes and would never get a Christmas present."
Pam, who has co-ordinated the appeal for the past 11 years, added: "It is quite humbling. I have been to the other side and seen the children receive the shoeboxes. Seeing their faces and how much they appreciate it, makes all the hard work worthwhile."
Alice Chapman, 69, of Habrough, has volunteered on the appeal for the past three years.
She said: "I got involved through a friend and I have been coming back every year since. It's the thought of a little child with nothing getting a present they wouldn't normally get – that's why I do it.
"I enjoy coming here. It's friendly, we have a laugh and there's lots of banter across the table."
More than 140 shoeboxes are collected from a Scartho school – picture on page 19.