Operation Christmas Child gets under way

Horsefair Centre manager Kevin Smith with one of the festive shoeboxes.
Horsefair Centre manager Kevin Smith with one of the festive shoeboxes.
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Residents are being urged to help deprived children across the world at Christmas with the launch of a festive shoebox campaign.

The annual shoebox appeal has swung into action at the Horsefair Shopping Centre in Wisbech as part of this year’s Operation Christmas Child campaign, run by international relief charity Samaritan’s Purse.

The appeal encourages people to fill wrapped shoeboxes with toys, stationery, small clothing and hygiene items which will be sent to children living in refugee camps, orphanages and impoverished neighbourhoods throughout the world.

Shoeboxes can be dropped off at the Horsefair’s information point at the bus station or the Oasis book shop in Norfolk Street until November 18.

Horsefair centre manager Kevin Smith said: “The support we receive each year for the shoebox appeal is always overwhelming – people are so generous.

“Last year more than 70 boxes were donated. It’s a fantastic cause to support and I’m sure opening the boxes makes such a difference to the children receiving them.”

The shoeboxes can be filled with gifts for children in three age groups – two to four years, five to nine, and 10 to 14.

Age group stickers to decorate and label the shoeboxes are available from the Horsefair’s information point, along with leaflets containing gift suggestions and guidelines.

A £3 donation per shoebox is also requested to help cover distribution costs.