Islands’ Charity Shoebox Appeal Underway

Last year's shoebox appeal

Last year’s shoebox appeal

The islands’ annual campaign to provide Christmas gifts for needy children in Europe and Africa is underway.

The Samaritans shoebox operation started in Wrexham in 1990 and 94 million parcels have been sent to youngsters in 105 countries, mainly in Europe and Africa.

Mary Leathers shares the Scilly campaign organisation with Sam Grossett from the Five Islands School.

Mary says they’d like locals to drop off boxes containing suitable gifts, which could include soap, combs, jewellery, dolls and puzzles.

They also send some items of clothing and start knitting scarves and hats early in the year.

The gifts are sent to a mainland sorting centre where the colder climate clothes are separated from presents more suited to warmer countries.

Mary says the Steamship Company carries the shoeboxes at no charge to the mainland where they are collected and the organisers are aiming to collect enough goods for 100 boxes this year.