THOUSANDS of children will unwrap a Christmas Day present thanks to the compassion of people in Scarborough and along the Yorkshire Coast.
This year’s Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal has closed with 5,026 shoeboxes, packed full of gifts, already sent abroad from the East coast to be distributed to children in need.
A team of volunteers loaded shipments from a storage facility in Eastfield, Scarboorugh after picking up the boxes from collection points across Scarborough, Whitby, Driffield, Bridlington and in Ryedale.
‘We’re absolutely delighted the public supported us like they have,’ said area coordinator Graham Hobson. ‘It now means thousands of children will open a present at Christmas where otherwise they would not have been able to.’
Mr Hobson said the charity had faced many obstacles this year, not the least of them being the lack of a suitable warehouse facility in Scarborough to use as a processing centre.
‘It has been a difficult few weeks but our team of volunteers responded so well,’ said Mr Hobson, who acknowledged the help of St Luke’s Church, Newby, Holy Nativity, Eastfield, and churches in the Benefice of Buckrose Carrs in particular for their support.
The boxes will be handed out to children in hospitals, orphanages, schools and other centres by a network of local churches. The first shipment of shoeboxes from Scarborough was sent to Liberia in West Africa.