December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 13, 2013
A Norwich church has decked its halls early this year in support of a charity project which will see thousands of gifts sent to children in Kosovo.
Members of Witard Road Baptist Church recently celebrated the opening of a new extension after a decade of fundraising and now a group of volunteers will be supporting the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.
Husband and wife team Peter and Pam Pike will be overseeing the project at the church and explained that it had opened its doors as a satellite warehouse and drop-off centre.
“We will be able to receive and pack many of the shoeboxes donated, ready for onward transportation to needy children in Kosovo,” Mrs Pike said.
“It’s the biggest surprise ever to the children who receive these boxes because some of them do not even know when it’s their birthday, let alone Christmas.
• School stationery items
• Unwanted video cases (Mrs Pike can turn these into nifty pencil cases)
• Skipping rope
• Toy cars
• Tennis ball
• Doll / Cuddly toy (no hand-knitted stuffed toys)
• Purse / Small bag
• Clip-on earrings / Bracelet / Necklace (no crosses)
• Scarf / Hat / Gloves / Sunglasses
• Sweets with sell-by date at least March 2014 (but no chocolate or food of any kind)
• Toothbrush / Toothpaste
• Soap / Fannel
• Hairbrush / Hair bands / Comb
“To give a gift is something they don’t expect and the shoebox itself becomes a little treasure to them.”
The couple moved to Norwich three years ago from Somerset, where they helped to send more than 140,000 shoeboxes overseas, and now they plan to continue supporting the appeal in Norfolk.
“When we moved here and joined the church we saw they were doing it on a smaller scale already so we offered our services and asked the church to make a leap of faith.”
The church is now one of three confirmed satellite warehouses in the county.
To take part wrap an empty, medium-sized shoebox and fill it with little gifts such as toys, educational supplies and hygiene items. Then, leaving it unsealed, drop it off at the church from November 1-8 with a £3 donation to help cover the costs of transport.
Mrs Pike said the value of one shoebox is around the equivalent to an average month’s wage for the parents in the countries that receive the gifts.
• For more information about the shoebox appeal ring Mrs Pike on 01603 929115.