A TOTAL of 25,500 gift-filled shoeboxes donated by people from across Cheshire should by now have reached children in Belarus, Bosnia, Hungary, Kosova, Romania, Serbia, Swaziland and Ukraine thanks to Operation Christmas Child.
Ellesmere Port and Neston were among the communities which contributed to this year’s humanitarian appeal.
Volunteers collected the shoeboxes at drop-off points across the region before they were checked and packed for transportation at warehouses in Liverpool, Stockport and Wrexham prior to shipment to their final destinations.
Originating in 1990, Operation Christmas Child is one of the UK’s biggest annual charity programmes.
And organisers have said an official thank you to all those who have helped make the 2007 appeal such a success.
Regional manager Ian Taylor said: “We’ve been extremely pleased with how the campaign has gone this year and we have been overwhelmed by the number of people from Cheshire who have participated.
“It’s a massive operation but it all comes down to one simple act of kindness – filling a shoebox with gifts for a child who has little at Christmas.
“We’ve collected over 1.25m boxes nationally this year, which means there are many needy children who will see that there is someone who is thinking of them this Christmas.”
He added: “The impact that a shoebox containing some simple gifts has upon a child with nothing – and their family – cannot be over emphasised.
“Many experience challenges most of us would find hard to imagine, and the toys and other gifts brighten difficult lives.”