There are several charities which co-ordinate and send Christmas shoeboxes to children in need overseas. Samaritan’s Purse organises Operation Christmas Child and is probably the largest. (www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk). Shoeboxes go mainly to children in Eastern Europe and Africa. It is very easy for parishes to take part. The charity provides leaflets giving precise instructions and suggestions about what and what not to put in a shoebox, how to wrap the box in Christmas paper, and how to label for a girl or a boy in one of three age categories from 2-14. There are also free CDs of film about the charity and showing children receiving the boxes. Imagine what a child who has nothing would like? You can even give an email address if you would like to know in the New Year where your shoebox has gone. This is such a good activity for young and old and so simple to do and such fun. The boxes can either be collected by a local rep. or delivered to the nearest collection point – deadline is mid November. The boxes are then checked and sent overseas in time for Christmas.
Another charity, Children in Distress, organises Love in a Box which sends shoeboxes mainly to children in Romania. (www.childrenindistress.org)