Shoebox appeal launched

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The Operation Christmas Child team officially launched this year’s shoebox appeal with a meet and greet in Banbury's Castle Quay shopping centre on Saturday.

Led by Eunice Harradine, the volunteer team leader for the Banbury area, the group of ten volunteers took turns at the stand to give out balloons and badges to children, sell colourful Go Boxes, which don’t need wrapping, and speak to passers-by about the shoebox appeal.

Eunice said: “We had some good conversations and several people who hadn’t previously heard of Operation Christmas Child said they would pack a shoebox this year.

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“People were very generous and we raised £95.35 to send extra shoeboxes.”

The shoebox appeal teamThe shoebox appeal team
The shoebox appeal team | other

To take part, donors are asked to wrap a shoebox and then fill it with an assortment of gifts.

Details are on the website under Pack a Shoebox but gifts include school stationery; hygiene items like soap, flannel and toothbrushes; toys and fun items and practical items like a hat or scarf.

Liquids, sweets or toothpaste cannot be sent, as they would cause a problem with the border customs department of the receiving country.

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Every shoebox needs a donation to cover essential costs such as shipping and training overseas partners so that the shoebox gifts are handed personally to needy children in well-run events.

Supporters who pay the £5 online and include the relevant barcode in their shoebox will receive an email towards the end of January telling them the country their shoebox has gone to.

Filled shoeboxes can be dropped off during the national collection week, which runs from Monday, November 11 to Monday, November 18 at drop-off locations that include The Peoples Church in Horsefair from 9am to 12.30pm on weekdays, The Entertainer toy store, A-Plus Insurance and the Leeds Building Society.

A full list of drop-off points can be found online.

Eunice added: “Last year, generous donors from the area helped us send 1,823 filled shoeboxes, which went to Romania. This year, we hope to increase that number to 2,000 so we can show love and give hope to more children.”

For further information, Eunice can be contacted on 07710 483902 or by emailing [email protected]

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