|H & F Community Donates Thousands of gifts to Needy Children|
Toys bring smiles to faces both at home and abroad
Over 1,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from across Hammersmith and Fulham have been sent to vulnerable children in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania and Ukraine as part of Operation Christmas Child, one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects.
The shoeboxes have been donated by individuals, schools, businesses, churches and organisations located in communities including Fulham, Hammersmith, Parsons Green, Shepherd's Bush and White City.
Teams of volunteers in the Operation Christmas Child processing centre in Fulham have worked long hours collecting, checking and loading the shoeboxes for transportation.
Hammersmith and Fulham Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child, Carol Outlaw, says: " We’ve had shoeboxes from all over Hammersmith and Fulham – quite fantastic! It’s tremendous to see such kindness, particularly at a time when the economic downturn is hitting so many people.
" Everyone who has donated a shoebox can be absolutely certain that it will have a very positive impact on the child who receives it. These children often receive nothing else at Christmas and many are living in really difficult situations, ranging from street shelters or orphanages to children’s homes or hospital. Some do live with their families but even then we see children living in very harsh conditions, simply because the families are so poor.
" It might be difficult for someone to appreciate what a few toys, some toiletries and education items mean, but the children are so appreciative. What’s also fascinating is that they often get their shoebox and share things out with each other.
" We’ve had some great support from the public locally and from our volunteers who work so hard. On behalf of Operation Christmas Child I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone in Hammersmith and Fulham who took part. It’s our twenty first year and we are so grateful for every shoebox that has ever been donated – we know each one brings happiness to the child who receives it."
Closer to home, over 1,000 toys have been donated by generous local people who responded to the Christmas Gift Appeal run by Access Storage, which has been collecting toy donations the Imperial College Healthcare Charity.
The toys, collected at the company's stores in Fulham and Hammersmith aim to bring smiles to the faces of children in the healthcare trust's paediatric wards.
H & F Mayor, Councillor Frances Stainton, who went along to see the huge assortment of collected gifts, says: " This has been a wonderful initiative by Access and the response from local people has been outstanding."
December 24, 2011