Redbridge warehouse helps deliver 36,000 presents to overseas children

More than 36,000 gift-filled shoeboxes which started life in Redbridge are heading for vulnerable youngsters in Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania and Ukraine as part of Operation Christmas Child, one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects.

Redbridge residents donated 3,000 of these from schools, businesses, churches and various organisations.

Teams of volunteers in the Operation Christmas Child temporary processing centre in Woodford Green Trading Estate have worked long hours collecting, checking and loading the shoeboxes to send to their destinations.

Redbridge regional manager for Operation Christmas Child Carol Outlaw said: “We’ve had shoeboxes from all over Redbridge which is fantastic. It’s tremendous to see such kindness, particularly at a time when the economic downturn is hitting so many people.

“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.”

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The campaign, which is now in its 21st year, has managed to exceed the number of boxes donated in 2010.

“We’ve had some great support from the public locally and from our volunteers who work so hard,” said Carol. “I wish everyone could see the smiles on the children’s faces when they get their shoebox.”

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Operation Christmas Child thanked everyone in Redbridge who took part in the campaign.

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