Generous givers across the Diocese played their part in helping millions of children receive a present last Christmas.

Figures just released by Christian shoebox charity Operation Christmas Child, revealed 10,623,776 gift-filled shoeboxes were handed out during the festive period to kids around the world who have been affected by war, famine, disease or poverty.

Of that total, the UK sent 511,200, including 107,947 from the North-East region, which includes 5,024 from Scarborough, which was the collection and processing hub for the Yorkshire coast.

The figures were revealed to OCC volunteers at a special celebration service at St Michael-le-Belfrey Church in York.

Graham Hobson, area coordinator for the Scarborough and East coast area, said: ‘We’re absolutely delighted at the continued giving of the people in the UK, the North-East region, Scarborough and the east coast, because each time people give a box it puts a smile on a child’s face.

‘Having so many people giving and sharing love with so many children around the world is absolutely mind-boggling.

‘This service has been fantastic in getting people together from all the region worshipping God and giving thanks for what He has done through the ministry this time.’

OCC organiser Jacqui Hance said the total of shoeboxes donated from the North-east region, which extends from Leicester to north of Newcastle, was ‘amazing’.

She added: ‘All the children, who possibly never have had a present before received a gift at Christmas from the people of this country – it’s a real expression of God’s love for them.

‘Like Graham, I loved the service at St Michael le Belfrey, as we saw many people from across our region come together, despite the bad weather, to celebrate the 100,000 shoeboxes that were sent from this region to children around the world.

‘It was an amazing contribution to more than half a million which were sent from our country.’

The shoeboxes from the UK were delivered to 11 countries across Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Scarborough volunteers sent the boxes in two consignments that left a storage facility in Eastfield during November.

The first consignment were among 80,000 boxes from around the world delivered to Liberia in western Africa.

  • Operation Christmas Child UK is the operational arm of the international relief organisation Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Since 1993, 156 million children in almost 160 countries and territories have received a gift-filled shoebox as a present through the work of Operation Christmas Child.