A CHRISTMAS shoebox appeal in Stratford is looking promising after last year’s collection was impacted by pandemic conditions.
So say organisers Malcolm and Anne McCulloch who have distributed more than 2,000 shoeboxes full of gifts and essentials for the last seven years to help poverty-stricken families in Romania.
The pair have personally travelled twice to help charities based in the Eastern Europe country hand-out the boxes.
The husband and wife duo said the visits had motivated them to collect more shoeboxes each year.
This is the eighth year the pair – who are members of Stratford Baptist Church – are working alongside charity Amen trust, which distributes the shoeboxes after the pandemic meant last year’s collection was restricted.
After difficulties last year led to a much smaller shoebox collection they say they are ‘very encouraged’ by responses received this year.
Malcolm said: “Local shops have been supportive in providing empty shoeboxes to be filled. These are being used by various local groups – brownies, scouts, slimming world, WI, churches and schools – and individuals.
“Details have been widely shared on social media which has helped new contacts to be made and they are grateful to all those advertising the shoebox collection to friends, work colleagues and family.
“Shoebox contents are our everyday items but to these Romanian families living in very basic conditions they are a reminder that someone cares enough to give them the only gift they will receive this Christmas.”
Shoeboxes should include items for both parents and children.
Those who want to donate can do so until November 16.
Email email@example.com for leaflets which provide guidance on how to fill a family shoebox.
More details and a video can be found at www.stratforduponavonbaptist.org.uk/mission.