Wyre Forest festive boxes deliver joy to world's poor

Kidderminster Shuttle: Santa’s helpers: From left, King Charles students Lucie Crawford, Ben Gutteridge, Declan Williams, Jack Williams and Chris Ward. Santa’s helpers: From left, King Charles students Lucie Crawford, Ben Gutteridge, Declan Williams, Jack Williams and Chris Ward.

SOME of the world’s poorest children will receive Christmas cheer thanks to Wyre Forest residents and pupils getting into the festive spirit.

Former Stourport High School and Sixth Form Centre student Wailo Li and her group of Project Tom volunteers have helped send 335 gift-filled shoe boxes around the world as part of Samaritan’s Purse scheme Operation Christmas Child.

It is the fifth year in a row the non-profit Project Tom – a group which encourages more young people into charity work – has gathered presents for the appeal. Ms Li, 29, worked with the Samaritain’s Purse regional team over a three-month period to help ensure all shoe boxes were collected and wrapped.

She said: “A grand total of 1,373 Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes have now been sent since we’d started in 2008.”

Meanwhile the sixth form charity drive at King Charles I School, Comberton Road, Kidderminster, has continued in the Christmas spirit.

After raising £500 so far this term for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need, the Philippines appeal and the Poppy Appeal, youngsters have been wrapping shoe boxes.

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s festive shoe box scheme and started 23 years ago. Since then, it has delivered more than 100 million gift-filled boxes to needy children around the world. In 2012, UK schools, churches and organisations sent nearly one million shoeboxes to third world countries.

This year’s boxes will be delivered to Albania and Rwanda, as well as 15 countries supported last year, including Haiti, Kenya, Kosovo and Romania.

Shuttle readers were also part of the appeal, donating to our Blackwell Street office collection point. The deadline for dropping boxes off at the location has now passed.

For information, visit operationchristmaschild.org.uk

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