Annual shoebox appeal for needy children launched in Banbury

Volunteers at Middleton Cheney Methodist Church wrapping and filling shoeboxes for needy children all over the world as part of Operation Christmas Child last year
Volunteers at Middleton Cheney Methodist Church wrapping and filling shoeboxes for needy children all over the world as part of Operation Christmas Child last year

The popular annual appeal for people across the Banbury area to fill a shoebox with a selection of gifts for a needy child overseas is up and running.

Every year individuals, businesses, churches, schools and other groups work together for the Operation Christmas Child campaign.

In 2017, 2,330 filled shoeboxes were sent from the satellite warehouse at The Peoples Church in Horsefair, Banbury, to needy children in Bulgaria and Belarus.

Eunice Harradine, the volunteer area coordinator, said: “Every year, I am amazed at the generosity of people in the Banbury area because it shows that people care about children less fortunate than ours.

“Many of the children who receive the shoeboxes probably will not have another gift, either at Christmas or any other time of year.

“The gifts we send show children living in hardship they are loved and not forgotten.”

Gifts can include basic toiletries, school stationery, toys, hats and sweets and each shoebox needs to include £5 for shipping.

Donors who pay online and include the barcode in their shoebox will receive an email in the new year telling them which country their shoebox has gone to.

Leaflets giving more information are available from Leeds Building Society and Shoe Zone on High Street, Banbury; The Entertainer in Castle Quay Shopping Centre; and from Bodicote Stores & Post Office on Molyneux Drive, Bodicote.

Leaflets can also be downloaded or ordered from the website www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk which has all the necessary information about age groups and how to make up a shoebox of suitable gifts.

Filled shoeboxes should be taken to a drop-off point between November 1 and 18, from where they will be collected and processed ready for shipment overseas.

Drop-off points include the locations mentioned above and The Peoples Church in Horsefair, Banbury – a full list will be published on the website from October.

To get involved or find out more, contact Eunice by emailing euniceharradine@btinternet.com or by phoning 07710 483902.