Generous Banbury area people donate large consignment of shoe boxes to send to needy children this Christmas

Banbury area folk have proved as generous as ever and donated hundreds of gift-filled shoe boxes to this year's Operation Christmas Child.

The donations have been warmly welcomed by Banbury volunteer coordinator, Eunice Harradine, who thanked all of those who have packed boxes to send abroad to needy children.

"The Covid-19 pandemic seriously affected the Operation Christmas Child campaign in 2020 but this year’s shoebox appeal has gone more smoothly with more gifts than last year being sent from Banburyshire for needy children overseas," she said.

“I am always amazed at the generosity of residents around the district. This year, caring people have come together once again and we have been able to send 1,288 shoeboxes full of gifts to bring joy, love and hope to children who have little in the way of toys and what we, here in the UK, think of as basic items.”

Eunice Harradine is pictured with some of this year's consignment of filled Christmas shoe boxes

“I want to thank everyone who has helped us achieve this year’s total, from ladies who knit and sew gifts throughout the year to groups, churches and individuals who pack shoeboxes. I love being part of a community where people care about children less fortunate than our own and do something practical about it.”

Countries due to receive gift-filled shoeboxes from this year’s campaign are in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Africa. Everyone who paid their project and shipping contribution online and included the relevant barcode in their shoebox can expect an email in the New Year telling them which country their shoebox has gone to. The emails are due to be sent out in January or February.

When the shoeboxes arrive in the destination countries, they are handed personally to needy children at festive outreach events. National Leadership Teams train church and community leaders who want to reach out generously to children with the joy of a simple gift and share the Christmas story of Jesus.

Although shoeboxes have left the area for this year, anyone who would still like to contribute can build a shoebox online. These are made up by volunteers and sent out along with those packed by donors. It costs £20, including £5 of project/shipping costs, with a wide range of gifts on offer.

There is a quick option or donors can choose the age/gender of the recipient, the gifts and even include their photo and/or a personal message for the child. It’s quick and easy and this simple act of kindness will help a child to know he/she is loved.

All shoeboxes built using the link https://tinyurl.com/BanburySBO are added to the Banbury total.