Putting the record straight over appeal

I READ with interest the letter entitled Another Agenda in the October 6 edition of the Morpeth Herald.

It is obvious to me that Mr Duffield does not have the facts concerning the Shoe Box Appeal as operated in the Morpeth area.

He is almost correct in his statement: “Indeed donors are often told not to include religious items.”

The fact is donors are told NEVER to include any religious items in the shoe box as many of our boxes go to Muslim countries.

This is one of the things our inspectors look for when checking the boxes prior to the boxes being sealed with tape and then placed in a carton, containing 14-15 shoe boxes, and the carton is sealed with tape prior to shipping.

How anyone can ‘hijack’ these shoe boxes is a mystery to me as the shoe boxes are sealed, the carton is sealed and the truck is sealed before embarking on its journey to the specific country.

The truck will not pass the country’s customs if the seal on the truck is broken.

They will reject the entire shipment of approximately 8,000 shoe boxes.

The only agenda for Operation Christmas Child/Shoe Box Appeal is to provide a small box containing, soap, face cloth, tooth brush, tooth paste, a toy, a cuddly toy, hat, gloves, scarf, some paper or note book or colouring book with pencils, and or crayons.

These boxes go to children in some of the most desperate areas in the world and is probably the only gift the child will receive.

It is very sad when someone with inaccurate facts can prevent a poor child in a devastated country some small measure of happiness.

Perhaps Mr Duffield would like to visit the current warehouse in the Kitty Brewster Industrial Estate in Blyth, Unit 30 on Grassmere Way, weekdays in November from 10am to 3pm to see what really happens to the shoe boxes.

PATRICIA RESCIGNO

Shoe Box volunteer