Wiltshire Publications

Shoeboxes are on their way for Christmas

SHOEBOXESfilled with gifts by Westbury people are on their way to disadvantaged children in Swaziland, Liberia, and Ukraine.

Three lorries containing thousands of shoeboxes have been loaded from the Operation Christmas Child depot in Bowerhill, Melksham.

The appeal asks people to donate a box filled with toys, paper, toothbrushes, sweets, gloves and other items, and the boxes are delivered to children who otherwise would not receive any Christmas presents.

This year, Chantry TV collected around 180 shoeboxes from individuals and organisations in Westbury who took the time to spread some Christmas cheer by creating a shoebox.  The shoeboxes were taken to the depot in Melksham, where volunteers check the shoeboxes and load them onto lorries.

With over 25,000 gift-filled shoeboxes leaving Melksham to go to communities stricken by poverty, Operation Christmas Child is thanking everybody who did their bit for the appeal this year.

Regional coordinator Hilary McFall said, “It is wonderful knowing that those children will receive a Christmas present this year because of the hard work of so many people in the local area.

“We just want to thank everyone who has been a part of the appeal this year. It’s been wonderful and we are all thrilled with the response. There are so many people that make this all possible, from the coverage we receive in the White Horse News to all the volunteers at the depot and of course those people who take the time to collect in the shoeboxes and put them together.”

This year marks the 20th anniversary that Hilary has been at the helm of Melksham Operation Christmas Child initiative. In the Melksham branch’s first year of collecting shoeboxes, they delivered around 40 shoeboxes to disadvantaged children. Hilary says that this amount increased steadily over the 20 years thanks al the support the appeal receives.

When the shoeboxes touch down in the countries they are going to, they will be distributed by volunteers via bike, hand or cart.

• It’s not too late to give a shoebox. You can still create a shoebox gift online at www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/shoeboxworld

You can choose the wrapping paper for your box, choose  whether you want your box to go to a boy or girl, pick your toys, and pay for the items and shipping online. Operation Christmas Child can then make up the box for you and send it out to a child in need.