8 °CMon, 10

Christmas Shoebox Appeal in full swing across Offaly

Email:

ger.scully@tullamoretribune.ie

The 2018 Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal is in full swing across the country.

Thousands of people are putting together their shoeboxes ahead of 9th November when collections officially begin. There is still time to get involved, wrap your shoebox (wrap lid separately as many children use the colourful box for storage) and fill it with items from each of the categories of: Washing, Writing, Wearing and a “Wow“(a cuddly toy, ball, doll, small toy e.g car). A €4 donation should be included to pay for the transport of each shoebox.

Here in Co Offaly a team of volunteers have already started collecting shoeboxes from some of the many participants and collection points throughout the county. These will be sorted and organised for dispatch at a Tullamore warehouse kindly on loan from Frank Colton of Agetek Kitchens & Doors. Local drop-off points (in addition to participating schools and businesses) for your completed shoebox gifts include: Kelly’s Toy Master Church Road, Tullamore; Clara Family Resource Centre, Clara; Gem Garden Centre, Cloghan; First Fit, Banagher and Noíníní Beaga, Syngefield, Birr (now open 9am-3pm).

In 2017 the Offaly team collected, sorted, bulk packed and sealed 4,619 shoeboxes at a Tullamore warehouse. The Offaly boxes were then driven by truck to the country of Kosovo. These were met by local partner teams who then went to hospitals, schools, community centres, orphanages and family homes to deliver these special gifts directly into the hands of vulnerable children.

The positive effect of the shoebox appeal seems to extend to everyone; from the individuals, families and groups who generously and thoughtfully puts together their gift, to the local volunteers who say: “we get so much more out of the experience than we put in”, to the children who are living in difficult circumstances and so appreciate receiving their gift.

If you can spare a few hours to help out with this year’s appeal as a volunteer at the Tullamore warehouse please contact Jean Gill (Team Hope Co Offaly Coordinator) on (087) 9885915.

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