Tameside Supports Samaritan’s Shoebox Appeal
Thursday 5th November 2015 @ 14:19 by Tom Greggan

The Samaritan’s Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’ also known as the Shoebox Appeal is underway and once again, Tameside is doing its bit to help.

It’s the world’s largest children’s Christmas project and the Dukinfield Ladies Community Group has been getting involved with the Shoebox Appeal since 1999. Chair Cllr Jackie Lane said: “Every year it’s gone better and better. It’s important because I believe every child should have a Christmas present.

“When you see their faces when they open the boxes, it’s amazing. But it is important because we’re very lucky; we have lots of presents and lots of food and these little children don’t have anything so please support this worthy cause.

“We just want to say thank you for your continued support. People out there have been very generous; schools, brownies, old people’s homes, shelter schemes all get on board with this. Even if you can’t do a box, if you’ve got any bits and pieces, we’ll gladly pick them up from you and we’ll gladly pick the boxes up.”

The two main drop off points are Dukinfield Town Hall from 10-4pm Mon-Fri and the Greater Manchester sorting warehouse on Whitelands Road in Ashton from 10-6pm Mon-Sun.

Martyn Catterall helps run the warehouse and he said: “Last year we did about 32,500 shoeboxes out of nearly one million in the UK. Mainly, our boxes go to Eastern Europe or Africa although at the moment I just can’t tell you where.

“People are free to come down to the warehouse. They can either drop the shoeboxes off or come and help us if you like.”

Things needed in the box include non-liquid hygiene products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, bars of soaps and flannels as well as school supplies such as pencils, pens and paper. You can also include a personal note or photograph.

There are six age ranges to target your box to; 2-4 years, 5-9 years and 10-14 years separated into boys and girls. Martyn said: “People think that the most difficult one is the boys 10-14 because you think of our boys of 10-14 and all they want is the Argos catalogue, but they’re not.

“These lads, they’ve got nothing so even if you were to put in a little cuddly toy, it may well be the first gift they’ve ever head and they can keep it in their pocket.”