Shoe box appeal for Christmas

Kind-hearted people in Wolverhampton are being urged to get involved in the Samaritan's Purse Shoe Box Appeal and play their part in bringing joy to a child this Christmas.

Pupils Zachary Mandizha, aged seven, and Zuzanna Spiewak, aged seven, with school co-ordinator Janice Wallbridge
Pupils Zachary Mandizha, aged seven, and Zuzanna Spiewak, aged seven, with school co-ordinator Janice Wallbridge

Primary schools around the country are collecting items and making up shoe box gifts of toys, toiletries and classroom items.

Janice Wallbridge, has been involved with Operation Christmas Child for several years as a volunteer and usually visits primary schools to appeal to pupils to make up a shoe box for distribution to children in Eastern European countries.

She said: "This is a worldwide appeal with children in more than 100 countries receiving show boxes.

"In 2019 a total of 10.5 million show boxes were distributed around the world.

"In Wolverhampton we are also doing our bit to give each child a gift at Christmas.

"Usually I visit 10 schools who get involved in the appeal but last year I was unable to go into the classrooms because of the Covid-19 pandemic and people donated online.

"This year I have visited five schools who are making up shoe boxes each filled with a toy, soap, toothbrush and flannel and a felt tip pen, ruler, pencil, rubber and notebook.

"We also suggest that pupils include a card or note or photograph of themselves to make each gift more personal.

"Some prefer individual boxes but other schools complete one for each class.

"This year St Peter & St Paul, Westacre Infants, St Paul's at Pendeford, St Mary's Primary and St Jude's Guide Group are making up shoe boxes.

"Shoe boxes are also being accepted by staff at The Entertainer Toy Shop and the Nationwide Building Society in Wolverhampton.

"Boxes have to been donated to coincide with collection week which runs from November 15 to November 22.

"The boxes are then collected and checked to ensure they are packed with suitable items for children ranging from two to 14-years-old.

"Last year people had to do everything virtually and donate online.

"This year as well as filling show boxes people can donate online through the Samaritan's and the shoebox website."

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