Charity to help kids at Christmas > UK
Operation Christmas Child (OCC), the Christian relief project, is launching its 2006 appeal in Shetland to deliver giftfilled shoe boxes to needy children in Eastern Europe and Africa.
OCC delivered more than 1.1 million shoe boxes to children last year and is aiming to beat that total this year. As one of the UK’s biggest annual charity events, OCC is calling on schools, churches, organisations and individuals throughout Shetland to build on the help that they gave in 2005.
Communities in Lerwick, Scalloway and Baltasound contributed to the area’s 2005 total. The gift-filled boxes were then processed at the charity’s warehouse in Glasgow for export to Romania and Kyrgyzstan.
OCC regional manager Chris Thomson said it was hoped even more shoe boxes would be collected this year. He also said they need to keep this great effort going because, sadly, there are many places where children are suffering from natural disasters, war and poverty. And added “We deal with people living in awful conditions. In Bosnia there are families of refugees living in old shipping containers; in Pata Rat, Romania, gypsy families scrape a living on the town rubbish dump, trying to recycle what others discard; we help children orphaned as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in Mozambique and Swaziland, and in Kiev there are homeless kids living in the sewers. Any school, church, company, organisation or individual that wants to help can contact OCC via our website or helpline, and they will receive a simple set of instructions explaining what they need to do. We give guidelines on what to put in the shoe box, how to pack it, and where to send it for collection and onward transportation. All we ask is for a £2 contribution towards promotion, transport, processing and distribution. At the final destination the boxes are distributed to needy children regardless of their nationality, political background or religious beliefs. It’s a simple process, but it means so much to the children. We really do hope to collect more shoe boxes than ever before in 2006.”
Anyone wishing to participate in the OCC 2006 appeal should log on to www.samaritanspurse.uk.com or contact the Helpline on 0870 011 2002.