Record Number Of Christmas Gifts Donated By Islanders

shoebox-appeal-2015-2Disadvantaged children in Africa and parts of Europe will be receiving Christmas gifts from islanders again this year.

114 shoeboxes filled with gifts have been collected for the Samaritan’s Purse appeal, organised by Mary Leathers and schoolteacher Sam Grossett.

Sam has been involved with the appeal for 25 years and Mary has overseen the islands’ response for the past 16 years.

The number of boxes donated has increased again, from 106 last year and 96 in 2013.

This year, 84 boxes were donated by schoolchildren and 30 were dropped off at Saturday’s Church Hall charity shop.

Sam says the children understand that there are youngsters who are much less fortunate than them and live in poor housing or transit camps through no fault of their own.

She says it’s a way for the children, “to celebrate the love of Jesus in a practical way.”

The boxes have been filled with basic toiletries like a toothbrush, toothpaste, flannels and soap, as well as practical items like notebooks and pens.

There are also small gifts like crayons, yo-yos, cars and balls.

Children from Orange class placed letters and pictures in some of the boxes too.

Mary has now taken the boxes to the quay where the Steamship Company transport them to the mainland on the Gry Maritha for free.

They’ll be processed in Penryn and sent on to their final destinations.

Mary says she hopes the children will enjoy opening their parcels at Christmas.

It’s possible to track where your box is going if you donate online and insert a barcode.