Christmas Gifts Head For Romania

Shoeboxes will bring cheer to vulnerable children

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Generous local residents have been active filling shoeboxes with Christmas gifts for children in Romanian orphanages as part of Operation Christmas Child. Over 1,100 shoeboxes from donors across the borough of Hounslow have been sent to vulnerable children in Eastern Europe in what has become one of the country's largest children's charity projects.

The shoeboxes have been donated by individuals, schools, businesses, churches and organisations located in communities including Brentford, Chiswick, Isleworth and Osterley.

Teams of volunteers in the Operation Christmas Child processing centre at Hounslow have worked long hours collecting, checking and loading the shoeboxes for transportation.

Hounslow Local Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, Pauline Ramdhony, says:

“We’ve had shoeboxes from all over Hounslow – quite fantastic! It’s tremendous to see such kindness, particularly at a time when the economic downturn is hitting so many people. Everyone who has donated a shoebox can be absolutely certain that it will have a very positive impact on the child who receives it. These children often receive nothing else at Christmas and many are living in really difficult situations, ranging from street shelters or orphanages to children’s homes or hospital. Some do live with their families but even then we see children living in very harsh conditions, simply because the families are so poor.

“It might be difficult for someone to appreciate what a few toys, some toiletries and education items mean, but the children are so appreciative. What’s also fascinating is that they often get their shoebox and share things out with each other.

“We’ve had some great support from the public locally and from our volunteers who work so hard. I wish everyone could see the smiles on the children’s faces when they get their shoebox - it makes you appreciate how the simple act of someone here sending a shoebox to an unknown child really is a very personal - and important - act of kindness.

“On behalf of Operation Christmas Child I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone in Hounslow who took part. It’s our twenty- first year and we are so grateful for every shoebox that has ever been donated – we know each one brings happiness to the child who receives it.”

Operation Christmas Child sends shoeboxes with gifts to children in the following countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Haiti, Kenya, Kosova, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Montenegro, Mozambique, Romania, Serbia, Swaziland and Ukraine. It is the biggest annual project run by Samaritan’s Purse, the evangelical Christian humanitarian aid charity.

December 2, 2011