Appeal is on for shoeboxes full of Christmas cheer

Rotary Club members help to put together the donations
Rotary Club members help to put together the donations
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GOSPORT Rotary club is continuing a two-decade tradition by collecting shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts to distribute to disadvantaged children.

The club has been distributing leaflets requesting donations of gift-filled shoeboxes.

Despite being a busy time of year the public response ‘is always good’, said Rotary Foundation co-ordinator Colin Davey.

Mr Davey said: ‘Every year we are surprised by the sheer number of people who want to get involved.’

Gosport Rotary fundraising committee chairman Malcolm Dent said the shoeboxes would be distributed to disadvantaged families in places like Albania and Macedonia.

He said: ‘Having been to Albania and seen first-hand the joy that these boxes mean to the children over there.

‘It is a thrill for us in Rotary to be able to be the link between the wonderful people in our area who provide and the grateful receivers abroad.

‘Long may Rotary and the shoebox appeal continue.’

Mr Dent said the group was delighted that nine schools had contributed donations from pupils and their families this year.

The Trefoil Guild has also donated 300 boxes, out of the 1,047 boxes collected overall. The Zurich insurance team in Fareham also participated, bringing in more than 70 boxes.

The boxes will be sent to Andover to join the thousands of others collected by other Rotary clubs across the area.

Mr Dent said social media had helped this year’s campaign and led to the Sanderson Centre providing storage space for free.

While some contributors chose to fill shoeboxes with books and pens, other contents have included knitted goods, tennis balls and toys.

The Rotary Club said no goods went to waste, and items such as shower gel – which is not allowed – were taken to food banks to be distributed.

For more details see gosportrotary.co.uk or look up gosportrotary on Facebook.