A VETERAN fundraiser is making a desperate appeal to locate enough empty shoeboxes to continue sending gift packages to the armed forces.

Margaret McKeegan, 78, who has sent thousands of regular shoe boxes filled with top quality goodies and essentials to wounded soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past few years, was devastated to hear the shop she gets all her shoeboxes from is about to close down.

The grandmother, of Francis Street, Chester, has always relied on Shoe Zone in Frodsham Street to provide her with up to 60 boxes at a time and receives letters of thanks from soldiers on a daily basis, which she says brightens up her day.

But after hearing the shop is soon to close, she is now worried about where she will be able to get future shoeboxes from and is appealing to Chester businesses who may be able to regularly donate them.

Margaret, who carried the Olympic torch when it came to Chester earlier this year, said:

“I’m just making a desperate appeal to anyone who can provide me with boxes on a regular basis.

“I can’t tell you how brilliant Shoe Zone have been with the boxes so I was heartbroken to hear it was closing.

“The letters I get every day from those lads make what I do so worthwhile. They provide a bit of comfort to them while they’re out there.”

The former nurse is also eager for volunteers to help organise fundraising events or to donate any equipment for the disabled.

She added: “I know there are a lot of charities out there but I solely work on my own so if I could get any help from people, whether it be donations or organising fundraisers, it would be so much appreciated.”

If you can help Margaret in any way call her on 01244 316573.