Thousands of Christmas shoeboxes are being processed in Scarborough for the very first time, ready to be shipped to youngsters in the Ukraine.
Scores of people from across the region have once again leant their support to this year’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.
Following high numbers of offerings from Scarborough, Filey, Whitby and Ryedale in previous years, district coordinator organiser Ros Dyson was overjoyed to be asked to process the area’s gifts in the town.
She said: “In the past we’ve collected and taken them in van loads of 1,000 to a warehouse in Hull, but we’ve been so successful with numbers that they told us we had to have our own warehouse.
“It’s amazing the support we’ve had. There are 140 warehouses around country and we get as many shoeboxes as Hull does.”
Currently operating from a warehouse in Eastfield, it’s anticipated that more than 5,000 boxes will be processed by local volunteers.
“In a day we’ve been packing, checking and processing 700-750 boxes,” said warehouse manager David Sutcliffe .“We’ve had wonderful volunteers here; people initially come for an hour and stay for three.
“It’s a super atmosphere, with everybody helping each other.
“So far we’ve raised £8,900 for transport costs from donations.
“Local businesses have also been very generous and we wish to thank Colin Ellis for providing us with the warehouse, and the council who have leant us tables from the Open Air Theatre.”
Building on the success, the campaign is set to be relaunched locally for Christmas next year.
Mrs Dyson added: “People have been so generous and kind. We’re going to get well over 5,000 boxes.
“In the past we’ve use the slogans ‘small gift, big impact’ and ‘love in a box’, it absolutely still stands true today.”
Filled shoeboxes can be handed in at Chapmans Undertakers in Auborough Street; Scarborough Sofa Beds in Falsgrave Road; Irton Garden Centre; Stoneacre Garage in Seamer Road and A Touch Of Glass in Newborough until tomorrow.
If anyone has any queries or would like to help the appeal, please telephone (01723) 368091.