Festive shoebox appeal is launched

It may be just over 10 weeks until Christmas but the time has come to start thinking of others.

Operation Christmas Child, the annual children’s charity campaign, launches its 2011 appeal on Saturday. Once again, the organisation is looking to local supporters to continue with their generosity in providing shoeboxes filled with gifts for children, who are facing life in poor conditions overseas.

With London hosting the Olympic Games next year, the appeal organisers are looking for donations of sporting items in the shoeboxes, as many children are inspired by sport even when life is hard.

As well as Christmas gifts and education items, boxes could contain a tennis ball, skipping rope, small football, inflatable beach ball, stop watch or other sports related gifts. The box could also be decorated with a sporting theme.

Area co-ordinator June Vasey said: “Last year we received shoeboxes from supporters in a wide range of communities, including Bonnyrigg, Edinburgh, Gorebridge, Dalkeith, Loanhead, Penicuik and many many other areas and over 8,100 gift-filled shoeboxes were distributed to vulnerable children in Belarus.”

To participate, visit www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk or call the Helpline on 0870 011 2002.