Hartlepool funeral directors appealing to community to help send shoeboxes to children worldwide for Christmas
A Hartlepool funeral directors is playing its small part in a worldwide project that brings joy to less fortunate children at Christmas.
Masons, in Park Road, is appealing to the community to help make shoeboxes filled with gifts as part of Operation Christmas Child run by international relief organisation Samaritan’s Purse.
Its mission is to show God's love in a tangible way to children in need around the world.
In the lead up to Christmas, the team at Masons, part of Dignity Funerals, are encouraging members of the community to fill up shoeboxes with essential items such as toiletries and toys.
The team will then arrange for them to be sent to children in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Funeral service arranger Julia Masshedar said: “I have been involved with the Samaritan’s Purse for years, usually we collect over 100 shoeboxes to send to children who have very little, in European counties, Africa and central Asia over the festive period.
"I would urge people to take part if they can and help put a smile on a child’s face.”
The project’s National Collection Week is Monday, November 15, to Monday, November 22.
Masons will be accepting shoeboxes during business hours until Friday, November 19, and has label leaflets for the boxes in reception for anyone who wishes to collect one.
Alternatively, the team can place a label on a box for you when they are dropped off at its offices at 129 Park Road.
Since 1990, more than 186 million children in over 160 countries have received shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child.
It is now a worldwide project sending millions of boxes all over the world.
To make one, use an empty medium sized shoebox and wrap it and the lid separately in colourful wrapping paper.
Attach a label stating if it is for a boy or a girl and select an age category of two to four, five to nine or ten to 14.
Fill it with toys, non liquid hygiene items and school supplies. One or two extra special items such as a doll, cuddly toy or deflated football with pump are also welcome.
To find out more about the initiative call in at Masons and pick up an information leaflet or visit www.samaritans-purse.org.uk.