CHRISTMAS: Send a box full of love

As the shops are now displaying their Christmas stock, our thoughts turn to those less fortunate than us.

Operational Christmas Child has been going for 25 years.

A simple gift- filled box demonstrates our love for needy children overseas. We call it love in a box.

You take a shoebox, cover it in Christmas paper and fill it with items appropriate for the age of the child – two to four, five to nine, or 10 to 14.

Items that can be included are hats, gloves, scarves, toiletries, no liquids, stationery, wrapped sweets and a small toy.

Some organisations do not complete full boxes but give us items to make up the boxes, for which we are very grateful.

We ask for £3 in the box to help with transportation costs as we need to fuel the delivery lorries.

In 2014, Operation Christmas Child delivered globally 10,440,333 shoeboxes to children. Of those, 800,000 were from Britain and 3,952 of them came from Northumberland.

This year, we are hoping to increase that number. Boxes can be dropped off at Shoe Zone shops in Ashington, Cramlington, Morpeth, Blyth and Handi Stationery in Alnwick.

Schools and churches are also drop-off points. The Methodist church in Howard Terrace, Morpeth, is also a drop-off point.

We have a team of drivers who volunteer to collect boxes from all over Northumberland and bring them to a processing centre, where another team of volunteers check and seal them ready to be transported.

Our processing centre this year is again at Doxford Place Methodist Church, Cramlington. We are very grateful to the Rev Adele Moorhouse, who has kindly agreed to let us use these premises.

We will be open from Monday to Friday, from 10am to 3pm, until Thursday, November 26.

We are always looking for volunteers, so if you feel you would like to help or if you just wish to see what we actually do or drop in for a cup of coffee or tea, we can be contacted on the numbers below.

Carol Nelson

01670 736509

Jackie Rogers

01670 713930