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Worthing charity boxes head to people in need
Charitable volunteers went the extra mile to send some Christmas cheer to vulnerable people in Eastern Europe.
Every year Worthing-based charity Link To Hope asks for contributions of simple gifts that many people in the UK take for granted.
Thanks to the donations, more than 34,000 boxes were collected from all over the UK and then sent to communities in Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Albania and Ukraine.
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With the items now securely delivered to families, orphanages and soup kitchens, those that oversee the scheme can sit back and reflect on their work.
Lisa Hector, general manager at Link to Hope, said: “We are different in that we package the boxes with different groups in mind such as families or the elderly.
“We try to pack the boxes not just with Christmas gifts but with essentials such as toiletries and stationery to help those in need.
“Some people start collecting in January to get ready for December.
“We only have a two-month window between collecting the boxes and distributing the boxes but it’s worth it when you think about how much of a difference it makes.”
Among the gifts requested include pens, pencils, gloves, socks, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and other household essentials.
The boxes are picked up by trucks at pick-up points and then driven to Eastern Europe in time for Christmas.
The Shoebox Appeal has delivered over 600,000 shoeboxes since it began in 1992.
This year, the donations included 94 festively wrapped boxes from councillors, staff and their families at Brighton and Hove City Council.
This included hand-knitted hats, scarves and other gifts from a craft group at Tower House Day Centre.
Councillor Lizzie Deane, the council’s deputy leader who helped prepare the boxes, said: “The shoebox appeal is a simple and effective example of how Christmas is a time for giving.
“The boxes will reach vulnerable people in need of comfort in the midst of winter.
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