Shoeboxes filled with love

It’s that time of year again when Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is preparing to collect thousands of shoeboxes “filled with joy” to be delivered to the neediest children in the world, in time for Christmas. The Algarve community is again expected to make a substantial contribution to the initiative.

Algarve volunteer for the campaign Gill Rhodes said: “In 1990, many of us saw the horrendous pictures on our television screens of children in orphanages in Romania. These scenes inspired people to do something.”

Since then, Operation Christmas Child has sent over 100 million shoeboxes, full of presents, to children in poor countries such as in Eastern Europe, Africa, India and South America. “Some of these children had never received a present in their life and know nothing about the joy of Christmas. They find it difficult to believe that someone really cares. It’s love in a box,” said Gill.

For the last 13 years, shoeboxes have been sent from the Algarve. The local campaign started with small numbers but last year these increased to 1,667 boxes filled with simple gifts that you and I take for granted. And now, supporters from Lisbon and as far north as Porto are joining in. Schools, churches, clubs and individuals in Portugal will be taking part again this year.

Those wishing to collaborate should read information about the appeal at to get ideas of what to pack and what is not suitable.

A donation to cover transportation costs from the UK to the children in various parts of the world is requested where possible. The £3 per box may be converted to €3 unless you wish to use a sterling cheque. Put your donation in an envelope on top of the gifts or make your donation online and include the payment slip in your box.

In Portugal, boxes need to be ready to send to the UK by October 31.

The Bombeiros Voluntários in Albufeira, Lagoa, Portimão and Lagos will be happy to receive boxes, which will then be collected by an OCC representative.

“We are extremely grateful to DLS Couriers of Almancil, who have agreed once more to take our boxes to the UK free of charge,” concluded Gill Rhodes.

96 42 40 091 (Gill Rhodes)

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