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Christmas starts early

With the sun still shining and the school holidays barely at an end, it can be difficult to think that Christmas is just around the corner.

However, the organisers behind the Christmas Shoe Box appeal are asking people to start to think festively early this year.

Once again volunteers are hoping to bring a smile to underprivileged children around the world at Christmas time by putting together a shoe box of presents.

The Christmas Shoe Box appeal is run by the UK charity Samaritan’s Purse and last year 1.1 million boxes were sent to 14 different countries, with 1,349 being sent from the Algarve thanks to the involvement of many of the Algarve schools, churches, clubs and individuals and it is hoped that this year will be equally successful. Volunteer Gill Rhodes said: “Last December I had the privilege of visiting Belarus and helping to distribute shoe boxes to some of the disadvantaged children who live there and what an experience it was!  The look of wonderment on the faces is something I shall never forget.

“Many of the children were orphans, sometimes they had a parent with them and it wasn’t just the joy on the child’s face that we saw, the joy on the parents face was also overwhelming as they could not afford to buy presents for their own children they were amazed by the kindness shown by people they had never met.”

Get involved

To take part in the appeal, simply put together a box of presents for a child and then take it to your nearest drop off point in the Algarve.

Completed boxes can be handed into the Bombeiros stations in Lagoa, Lagos and Albufeira or at participating local churches before the end of October. where there are also details on what to pack and how to pack each shoe box. Alternatively, please email [email protected] to learn more about the initiative in the Algarve.