CHRISTMAS cheer is being spread across the globe with the help of a Morpeth business.
The Leeds Building Society branch in Bridge Street is collecting shoeboxes for the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child appeal for the sixth year running.
The project sees members of the public, schools, churches and other organisations fill boxes with gifts for needy children around the world.
Since starting out in 1990 the project has delivered 94 million shoeboxes to children in 100 countries and last year more than 1.1million parcels were sent from the UK alone.
This year the scheme is hoping to deliver its 100 millionth gift.
Leeds Building Society Branch Manager Denise Godwin said: “We think Operation Christmas Child is a brilliant project that we recommend others to be part of. The shoeboxes not only assist the children that receive them, but also help our staff and customers feel part of something bigger that is helping others.”
To take part in the scheme, people should wrap a medium sized shoebox in Christmas paper and fill it with new gifts from each category of toys, education supplies, hygiene items and other goods, such as gloves, hats and necklaces.
Items that cannot be sent are food, especially chocolate, medicine or vitamins, fragile items, dangerous items, such as sharp objects, scissors or razors, liquids, including shampoo and aerosols, and novels.
Samaritans Purse UK Executive Director Simon Barrington said: “We are delighted that the Morpeth branch of Leeds Building Society will again be acting as a Drop-off Point.
“Giving a shoebox gift is very simple. All people need to do is find an empty shoebox, decide if it’s for a boy or a girl, fill the box with gifts, make the £2.50 donation and drop off their shoebox at 34 Bridge Street, Morpeth.
“Our regional volunteers will then ensure the shoeboxes get to where they need to go.”
Boxes can be dropped off until Sunday, November 18.
The building society is also selling Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom zip-pulls for a suggested donation of £1 for Jeans for Genes Day.
The initiative raises funds for Genetic Disorders UK, which aims to transform the lives of children with genetic disorders.
The zip-pulls are on sale until Friday, November 30.