Help children with gift appeal

Bring a ray of hope to the lives of children like those pictured on this page by taking part in the Rotary International Shoe Box Scheme.

Thank you to all the Leader readers who have supported this year’s appeal so far.

Every year we promote this scheme in the paper and every year we get a great reponse.

To take part, come along to the Leader office in Eastgate, collect a free flat pack box and fill it with new or quality used toys, teenage items or household goods.

Suitable toys to include in your are small toy cars, small bouncy balls, jigsaws, fluffy toys, dolls, colouring books, felt tip pens and yo-yos. Household goods such as soap, toothpaste and brushes, letter paper and pens are always welcome.

Don’t forget teenagers with gifts such as make-up, toiletries, sportswear, scarves, gloves, hats, writing materials, combs and football memorabilia.

Please attach a £1 coin to the top of the box to cover transport costs.

Filled boxes must be returned to us at the Leader by November 16.

Rotary deliver your boxes to Romania, Ukraine and Belarus.

They say items we take for granted in our daily lives can make a huge difference to the poor families there.

In the case of the children, these toys may be the first gifts they have received for a very long time.

Rotary is urging people only to take the boxes if they are intending on filling them as there are a limited amount available.

A few months ago Rotary International shoe box team member Elizabeth Tatman headed up a visit to Romania to the sorts of places where your shoe boxes are delivered.

She wrote: “In Pietra Neamt we went to two children’s homes, one large in a very old building and a smaller one which now houses 98 children from three to 18-years-old.

“Still too many but better than the 200 who were there 20 years ago.

“At Chisineau in Moldova we visited a small home with nine children. Here they are trying to help young single mothers who are often thrown out by their parents and local community.

“We also met Liliana from Hope & Homes for Children, who told us how the villages are completely cut off in the winter.

“We all enjoyed seeing boxes delivered and also meeting other Rotary Clubs, eight in all, plus two Rotaract Clubs. Many of us intend being back.”