Shoebox appeal touches hearts
A COUPLE who are collecting shoeboxes for the troops in Afghanistan have been overwhelmed with the fantastic response from people in Suffolk.Ron and Liz Cartwright, whose son Matt, 33, has just been sent out to Afghanistan with the Coldstream Guards, have been inundated with help and are now talking to the authorities about how to send the boxes.
A COUPLE who are collecting shoeboxes for the troops in Afghanistan have been overwhelmed with the fantastic response from people in Suffolk.
Ron and Liz Cartwright, whose son Matt, 33, has just been sent out to Afghanistan with the Coldstream Guards, have been inundated with help and are now talking to the authorities about how to send the boxes.
“The response has been phenomenal - the phone hardly stops ringing,” said Mr Cartwright, 68, of High Road West, Felixstowe.
“It has been overwhelming. People just want to give their support and we cannot thank them enough. We are now surrounded by shoeboxes and bags of items and are so busy filling and sorting all the boxes.
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“We have spoken to the barracks where our son was based and they say the morale boost a parcel can give the soldiers is amazing and they are thrilled with what we are doing.”
Mr Cartwright and his wife Liz, 63, are packing the boxes with necessities and life's little luxuries - many of them items which the soldiers are desperate to receive.
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But the main problem the couple are now having to overcome is transport of the boxes to the soldiers on the front-line.
“For parcels to be sent free by the Post Office, they have to be addressed to soldiers with their name and rank. What we are trying to do is just get a parcel to as many soldiers as we can and we don't know all their names,” said Mr Cartwright.
“We could go down to Victoria Barracks at Windsor and try and find families and get a load of names together, but we just feel there ought to be some easier way.
“We are going to speak to the British Forces Post Office and see if they can help - and if necessary I will drive all the shoeboxes to their base in Mill Hill in London, where the mail is set out.”
Mr and Mrs Cartwright are hoping people all over the county will contribute shoeboxes to the appeal - people should contact them on 01394 211438 or firstname.lastname@example.org and collection can be arranged.
If you want to send your messages of support to our troops, visit www.eveningstar.co.uk/blueys
What do you think of the forces' work in Afghanistan? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com
FASTFACTS: What the shoeboxes could contain
rehydration salts for diarrhoea and sickness
wet wipes because of lack of running water and no toilets
paracetomol and painkillers
toothbrushes and toothpaste
notebooks, pens and pencils
chocolates and sweets
cup a soups / noodles / drink sachets
energy tablets / cold treatments