Last chance to hand in your shoebox gift

Christmas Shoebox appeal .Ros Dyson with some of the gifts . Pic Richard Ponter 144711a

Christmas Shoebox appeal .Ros Dyson with some of the gifts . Pic Richard Ponter 144711a

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Kind-hearted Scarborough supporters of Operation Christmas Child have been busy packing shoeboxes to be sent to youngsters abroad.

The appeal takes place every November and it is hoped that 6,000 shoeboxes filled with gifts will be sent out from our area to children in Belarus.

The charity encourages people to fill boxes with items such as soft toys, games, crayons, hats, scarves and sweets for youngsters who might not otherwise get any presents.

Scarborough coordinator Ros Dyson said: “The support has been unbelievable. We had 2,400 boxes come in yesterday and we’ve got 50 volunteers checking and sealing the boxes before they go into cartons.

“People come back to help year after year - they get addicted to it! But we’ve also had some new faces this year, which is wonderful.”

Volunteer Patrick Braithwaite, 77, of Filey, is helping at the warehouse in Eastfield for the second year in a row.

He said: “It’s highly satisfying knowing that thousands of children in Eastern Europe are going to be delighted with the gifts and good wishes they’ll receive.

“It’s certainly good taking part - it’s very companionable and you know that you’re doing something good.”

Ros added that this year is as busy as ever and that organisers are hoping to get 6,000 shoeboxes from Scarborough, Ryedale, Whitby, Filey and Bridlington.

People wishing to take part are asked to take their packed shoeboxes to a local drop-off point by Wednesday November 26.

A list of drop-off points - plus guidance about what sort of items to include - is available at www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk

Scarborough drop-off points include Scarborough Sofa Beds in Falsgrave Road, Shoe Zone in Newborough, Stoneacre in Seamer Road and T.L. Chapman & Son Ltd Funeral Directors in Auborough Street.

For any last-minute boxes or enquiries, please call Ros on (01723) 368091.

Ros has thanked all the people that have given shoeboxes so far and local businesses who have lent their support.

Colin Ellis has given the use of the warehouse for free, Booker and Morrisons have loaned trollies, Betta Motoring has donated sellotape, Legrand has given the use of a fork lift truck and driver, plus many shoe shops have donated empty boxes. The team would welcome any further donations of small soft toys, stationary items and sunglasses in particular.