A record number of shoe boxes filled with Christmas gifts have been collected in the Algarve for Operation Christmas Child.
A total of 1,349 boxes are on their way to underprivileged children, who would normally not receive presents at Christmastime, in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia.
“Imagine the joy on their faces when they open a box,” said Gill Rhodes, who is a registered volunteer for Samaritan’s Purse, a registered charity in the UK and the United States, which runs the Shoe Box Appeal.
Several people and institutions in the Algarve have played their part in the achievement, such as schools, churches and clubs.
“Thank you all on behalf of the children,” she said. “Special thanks must go to the Bombeiros who have acted as “drop-off” centres, to Shoe World and Izi who have saved us empty boxes, and to the owner of the warehouse we have used for storing all the donated boxes.”
DLS Couriers in Almancil offered to take the boxes back to the UK for them to start their final journey to the children.
Gill Rhodes said they have received many donations of money, but would like to give special thanks to Constantino Jordan, Property and Investment Advisory, who have sponsored this appeal with a cheque for €500.
This year is the 20th anniversary of the campaign, organised by Samaritan’s Purse.
For those who would like to support the Shoe Box Appeal, you can now do so online.
You will be able to assemble a virtual box, choosing the wrapping paper and the gifts online.
Visit the website at www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk and click on Shoebox World.
Gill Rhodes told the Algarve Resident: “Some readers may remember that I was going to Belarus last year to hand out some of the boxes. Sadly, while waiting to catch the flight, my passport and those of other team members were stolen and I was unable to travel. But I am going this year! May I through this article thank you all so much for your kindness.”
For more information about the Algarve appeal, please email [email protected]