Operation Christmas Child has reached the milestone of delivering 100 million shoeboxes to needy children around the world thanks to the support of residents in Bedfordshire going the extra mile.
Since 1990, through Operation Christmas Child, Samaritan’s Purse has been providing these simple gifts to children in over 100 countries.
More than 14,600 gift-filled shoeboxes from across Bedfordshire have been exported to vulnerable children in Kyrgyzstan, Serbia, Swaziland and Ukraine.
They were sent from processing centres in Biggleswade, Cambridge, Olney and Woburn as part of Operation Christmas Child, one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects.
Bedfordshire regional manager for Operation Christmas Child, Gordon McCann, says: “I would like to thank the volunteers at our local collection sites and all those who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift.
“For some of the children who receive these gifts, this shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.
“Thank you again to everyone who took part in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope to children worldwide.
“We’re so grateful that despite the recession and the hardship everyone is feeling people have really gone the extra mile this year to pack shoeboxes with love and because of that we’ve been able to reach our 100 millionth shoebox.”
Samaritan’s Purse UK executive director Simon Barrington also praised the work of Operation Christmas Child volunteers across the country.
He said: “Well it’s absolutely amazing that over 6,000 volunteers have got engaged in helping us deliver these shoeboxes to countries around the world.
“Volunteers have been driving vans, processing boxes in warehouses, driving fork lift trucks, packing Lorries simply because these people care about children overseas and it shows the spirit of Christmas is truly alive and well and working in every region of the country.
“It took us 23 years to reach our first 100 million, but the programme is still growing and each year more children around the world are receiving gift-filled shoeboxes. I’m confident we can achieve the next 100 million boxes in 10 years.”
Samaritan’s Purse is now asking all Bedfordshire residents to continue to make a difference to needy children around the world by supporting the 2013 Operation Christmas Child campaign.
Go to www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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