Christmas gift organisation thanks Banburyshire folk for their generosity

The organisation that sends Christmas gifts to needy children overseas has thanked Banbury area donors for their generosity.

Monday, 16th December 2019, 11:07 am
Updated Monday, 16th December 2019, 11:18 am
Eunice Harradine and Mary Phipps are pictured with some of the boxes at Middleton Cheney

Residents of Banbury and the neighbouring area rallied round for the annual Operation Christmas Child effort and sent a fantastic 1,727 shoeboxes packed with gifts destined for youngsters who otherwise would receive little or nothing.

Eunice Harradine, the local lead volunteer, said: “I am thrilled that we’ve had such a good response again this year and I’d like to thank everyone who packed a shoebox or contributed in some other way.

“The children we give to live in difficult circumstances and are unlikely to receive presents at Christmas or any other time of year. A shoebox full of gifts can make a big difference to their life and lets them know they are not forgotten. One football and pump, for example, can benefit a whole village or community."

Eunice Harrodine, left, of Operation Christmas Child and office manager Rachel Attley at The Peoples Church with some of the shoeboxes the staff there packed and donated.

Villagers in and around Middleton Cheney this year packed 238 shoeboxes, led by Operation Christmas Child supporter Mary Phipps who arranges Wrap and Fill sessions every autumn. Many individuals packed their own shoeboxes, adding to the total.

A number of local workplaces such as Britmet Tileform Limited in Overthorpe Road, Banbury (which donated 18 filled shoeboxes) took part too.

The People's Church, Banbury also packed shoeboxes to donate to the cause.

Volunteers at The Peoples Church in Horsefair, Banbury collected and packed the shoeboxes which were taken to the regional processing centre at Oldbury in the West Midlands for checking and export.

Eunice said: “In the past, we have checked and sealed shoeboxes at the church but for administrative reasons, the number of processing centres has been reduced this year. However, I can assure donors that the same care and attention goes into the procedure wherever it takes place.

“We don’t know yet the country or countries our shoeboxes are going to but donors who paid their shipping donation online and included the barcode in their shoebox can expect to receive an email around the end of January advising them of the destination."

For those people who missed out on giving this year or would like to send another shoebox, this can be done online for £20 including shipping. Donors can choose the age range and gender and pick from a selection of gifts on the website for their box, which will be packed by a volunteer and sent abroad along with other shoeboxes.

Eunice said, “There is always a shortage of shoeboxes for the the 10-14 age group, especially boys”.

All the information is on the website under Pack a Shoebox in the green banner.

If you would like to support Operation Christmas Child next year, you can contact Eunice Harradine at [email protected] or by phone on 07710 483902.