Schools make gifts for Christmas
EVERYDAY items we take for granted will be part of gifts which will make Christmas a special time for children across Europe.Youngsters are sending the presents in shoeboxes to children less fortunate than themselves and learning about helping others.
EVERYDAY items we take for granted will be part of gifts which will make Christmas a special time for children across Europe.
Youngsters are sending the presents in shoeboxes to children less fortunate than themselves and learning about helping others.
For many who will receive them they may be the only present they receive this festive season.
Inside, the boxes are packed with small toys, but also other items we regard as the necessities of life – flannels, toothpaste, soap, clothing.
But for the needy and suffering youngsters in countries where poverty, illness and neglect is rife, or their lands ravaged by war, such items are rare.
At Fairfield Infants, High Road West, Felixstowe, pupils have brought in more than 100 shoeboxes, gaily wrapped in bright Christmas paper.
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The huge stack will be collected and sent off by the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse as part of its Operation Christmas Child mission.
Deputy head Jan Hubbard, who has organised the project at the school, taking part for the sixth year, said the children had really enjoyed taking part.
"It's a lovely opportunity for families to fill the boxes together, decide what items should go in and why, and talk about where the boxes are going," she said.
"When I unpacked my box in class so we could look at what could go in, the children found there was a flannel, toothpaste and toothbrush, and hairbrush, which our children use everyday but in the countries where the boxes are going they will not have such luxuries."
The children had also watched a video from Samaritan's Purse and had a special assembly about the shoeboxes.
The boxes have been filled for either a boy or a girl, aged either two to four, five to nine, or ten to 14. Suggested items to put in include small cuddly toys, notepads, pencils and pens, crayons, hat, cap, gloves, ball, jigsaw, toy cars, jewellery, and sweets.
The school also has another link with Operation Christmas Child as teaching assistant Wendy Rayner and her husband Andy are going off to Romania with the project to help distribute the boxes.
The couple have also recorded a special CD for the project and this weekend are helping to organise and taking part in a special event at Liverpool Cathedral to launch it, along with more than 20 other singers, dancers and technical experts from Felixstowe.
The boxes will be transported over the next few weeks with one million others to eastern European countries such as Poland, Macedonia, Albania, Slovenia, Latvia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania.
Samaritan's Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organisation, also adds in to the finished boxes some Christian literature to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The organisation collects more than five million shoe boxes worldwide and distributes them to children in more than 95 countries.