A GROUP of Lynemouth residents have managed to grab a grand of presents for needy children overseas.
Lynemouth Community and Friends has reached the 1,000 shoeboxes target this year and they have now been sent to Operation Christmas Child’s warehouse in Blyth.
This is the 12th year that people in the village have got together to participate in the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox Appeal, with numbers increasing steadily year-on-year from the 126 boxes completed in the year 2000.
The effort is led by Sadie Williamson, who works throughout the year fundraising through concerts, supper nights and raffles.
She said: “Last year’s total for our group was 969 and we then decided to aim for 1,000 in 2011.
“We are delighted to have reached the target despite the present economic climate and this is down to the continued generous giving of many people.”
The ‘and Friends’ has been added to the name of the group in recent years because support now comes from a wider geographical area including Ellington, Cresswell, Newbiggin, Ashington and Blyth.
As well as completing boxes personally with toys and useful items, people also help out by supporting fundraising events, donating gifts, knitting hats, gloves and scarves and wrapping and transporting boxes.
Group member Heather Gray added: “We appreciate every contribution large or small, knowing that each one will make a difference in the life of a needy child when they receive their box of love.
“Children are involved wherever possible to encourage them to be aware of the needs of others.”
The Morpeth Area Partially Sighted group is among those in Morpeth making a contribution to the appeal. It expects to send about 45 shoeboxes.
Chairman Patricia Rescigno said: “Our members have enjoyed helping to put together the shoeboxes, which will bring joy to children who have very little.
“It’s an amazing experience to see the warehouse full of colourful boxes.”
Those who would like to donate a shoebox to a Romanian child of ages two to four, five to nine or 10 to 14, can hand it in to the following places in Morpeth: Lifestyle Bookshop, Leeds Building Society, Stead and Simpson Shoe Shop and Yeomans. The deadline is Friday, November 18.
Anyone who would like to help process the shoeboxes is very welcome to come along to the warehouse on the Kitty Brewster Estate in Blyth from Monday to Friday (10am to 3pm) until Wednesday, November 23.
For more information on the appeal, visit www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk or telephone the Helpline on 0870 0112002.