Box clever to help needy children at Christmas

COUNTY residents are being urged to step forward once again to give needy children some Christmas joy.

The Samaritan’s Purse shoebox appeal has delivered 94million boxes filled with fun and useful items to young people in more than 100 countries over the past 22 years.

And now the charity is looking to reach the 100million mark by embarking on a drive to get more members of the public involved.

Northumberland Operations Supervisor for the Operation Christmas Child initiative Jack O’Kane said: “We are one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects, distributing over one million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children at Christmas time last year.

“The challenge for us now is to grow Northumberland’s contribution to this global programme so we’re asking everyone across the region to help us achieve that. We know we can count on people’s big-heartedness even in difficult economic times.

“Last year, we received shoeboxes from supporters in a wide range of communities, including Alnwick, Ashington, Bedlington, Belford, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, Blyth, Choppington, Corbridge, Cramlington, Haltwhistle, Hexham, Horsley, Morpeth, Ponteland, Stakeford, Stocksfield and Wooler and over 7,800 gift-filled shoeboxes were distributed to vulnerable children in Belarus, Bosnia, Romania and Serbia.

“It’s wonderful to think that we are a small part of such a large global project that is doing so much good for millions of children.”

Visit for instructions on how to complete a gift-filled shoebox in time for the November 18 deadline.