Shoe box appeal delivers 83K boxes
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Blythswood Care’s 2021 Shoe Box Appeal delivered almost 83,000 boxes to eight countries in Eastern Europe by December 24.
Filled with small, practical items such as toiletries, stationery and clothing the boxes have been distributed in schools, hospitals, orphanages and care homes, and to households in very low income communities.
“It has been another tremendous effort by donors and volunteers,” says Blythswood’s head of projects, Finlay Mackenzie. “We received boxes from Shetland to Cornwall and from Kent to Northern Ireland.
“Because it’s not so easy to send boxes to European Union countries, we sent more than previously to Kosovo, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.”
On December 24, the last load was delivered to Ukraine where Christmas is celebrated on January 6, following the Orthodox tradition.
Sorting stations in which donated boxes are checked and processed by volunteers followed Covid safety guidelines with social distancing, face masks and hand sanitiser. “I’m glad we completed the process before the omicron wave arrived,” Finlay says. “It has been a real logistical challenge but those who organise sorting stations were building on experience from last year.”
This year’s total of 82,952 boxes beat last year’s by over 7000 and brought the total since the appeal began in 1993 to 2.56 million.
“These gifts mean so much to those who receive them,” Finlay says. “I’d just like to thank everyone who donated and volunteered.”