A COUPLE from Stratford have been spreading Christmas cheer to children living in poverty-stricken Romania.
Malcolm and Anne McCulloch spend each festive season collecting shoeboxes as part of their work with the Amen Trust. The gifts are then sent abroad to those in need.
But this year the couple hand delivered their parcels after a bumper collection where they received some 350 shoeboxes from supporters across the district. They also took donations of warm clothes and blankets to orphanages.
Malcolm told the Observer: “For us both it was good to go back again two years after our last visit. We visited some of the same villages as last time and again saw the very basic conditions that many families were living in.
“Rather than walking through mud this time we were walking through snow – there were six days in a row when the daytime temperature did not rise above freezing.
“We were reminded at how appreciated the gift of a shoebox is. To us in the UK these are our everyday items but to these Romanian families they are a reminder that someone cares enough to give them the only gift they will receive this Christmas.”
While they were there the couple also visited orphanages and helped a soup kitchen handing out sandwiches and hot drinks.
They are keen to continue helping with the trust’s shoebox appeal and are hoping for those interested in supporting them to come forward.
Anne said: “We want to thank all those who supported Amen Trust with a shoebox or warm clothes and blankets.
“Anyone who wants to learn more or may want to support us next year can get in touch to find out more.”
Call 01789 294908 or email [email protected] to contact the couple.