THOUSANDS of children in Romania will be able to unwrap a present on Christmas Day thanks to the generosity of the public in the Scarborough area.
This year’s Operation Christmas Child charity appeal came to a close on Monday when a lorry packed with 5,560 shoeboxes, packed full of gifts, headed off to the eastern European country to be distributed to needy children.
A team of 60 volunteers from across the Yorkshire coast have processed the shoeboxes at a warehouse hub on Sandside since early November.
The shoeboxes are filled with cuddly toys, sweets, games, pens, pencils, paper plus essential toiletries like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and items of warm clothing such as woolly hats and scarves which have been donated by individuals, schools, churches, pubs and village groups in Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Bridlington, Driffield, Malton and other areas of Ryedale.
Operation Christmas Child Scarborough area coordinator Graham Hobson said he was ‘elated’ by the final total.
Volunteers from Operation Christmas Child and the Rainbow Centre loaded the lorry ready for driver Marius Ecsedi, 51, from Deva in Transylvania, to begin the four-day, 1600 miles journey to distribution points in the Wrancea county of Romania.
Marius said, "It’s extraordinary, just wonderful that so many children in my country will receive a shoebox. I have no words to express our thanks."