It might only be September but the co-ordinator for Operation Christmas Child in Banbury is getting ready to launch this year’s appeal and help children across the world.
Residents in Banbury can make a difference by sending shoeboxes which are distributed to children in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. They can be filled with toys, sweets or even basic toiletries.
Eunice Harradine, district co-ordinator for the Banbury area. said: “Away from the cities, families still don’t have many of the things we in the UK take for granted. Children there will have very little to call their own, simply because their parents can’t afford them.
“A shoebox filled with basic toiletries, school stationery, a selection of toys, sweets or something to wear such as a hat, scarf and gloves really does make a difference and lets a child know that he or she is loved.”
The specific countries were the shoeboxes are sent to are selected with charity representatives personally hand out the shoeboxes themselves.
Leaflets about this year’s shoebox appeal can be found in Banbury and in the Entertainer toy shop in Castle Quay, Shoe Zone and Leeds Building Society, both on the High Street, and Bodicote Stores in Molyneux Drive.
These venues along with the People’s Church in Horsefair, Banbury will also be drop-off points for gift-filled shoeboxes from November 1-18.
Many organisations and individuals in Banbury have already got plans to help this year but Mrs Harradine is encouraging more people to get together with their work colleagues too.
She added: “It’s great fun shopping for the shoeboxes and doesn’t need to cost a lot. Many shops have special offers and there is so much flexibility on what you can go in.”
Posters and DVDs are available to promote the appeal. For more information call 0870 011 2002 or visit www.samaritans-purse.org.uk