A church in North London has packaged up 549 Christmas shoebox hampers for families in need.
Chorley Community Church hosted members of the local community at a Shoebox Appeal Packing Party, a day of hard work and celebration after raising £2,470 and £500 plus in gifts.
Via Link to Hope, the boxes will go to families living in total poverty in Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and Bulgaria and will be delivered just before Christmas.
The Church has supported Shoebox Campaigns for over 20 years, with a team of volunteers working throughout the year to get everything in place. All donations, including gift aid, go towards the boxes with admin and additional expenses picked up by the Church.
Jasmine Plowright, one of the team leaders of the project at Chorley Community Church, said:
We’ve been taking part in Shoebox Appeals since we were kids ourselves, and every year we are overwhelmed with the level of support we receive.
From local community members giving up their Saturday to help wrap and fill boxes, through to individual donors and companies who generously sponsor us with large cash amounts and gifts.
This is a annual project which takes around four months to plan and deliver – it really is a team effort.
The campaign is part of Link to Hope’s ongoing work to provide humanitarian aid, education and social care to some of the most disadvantaged people struggling to survive in villages that lack basic amenities.
The Family Shoeboxes of gifts are given to families who often have to make a choice between buying food or fuel at Christmas time – for whom buying presents is just not a priority. Many of these families do not have running water, heating or electricity.
Fellow team leader Emma Rodriguez added:
We value everyone’s contribution – the kids who love choosing what to put inside the boxes, our mums who cook all day and feed volunteers, the ladies who knit all year round and write out 500 individual Christmas cards… the list goes on!
We can’t wait to see the pictures from the Link to Hope delivery team who will get these out to families across Eastern Europe just before Christmas.
Link to Hope is a Christian Charity, but boxes are given out regardless of religion, colour or creed and without any literature included.
Picture: Chorley Community Church