Charity campaign to begin in Forfar and Kirriemuir

Operation Christmas Child, the annual children’s charity campaign, will launch in Angus on September 24.

It is hoped that local supporters will continue their generosity in providing shoeboxes filled with gifts for children who are facing life in extremely poor conditions in several overseas countries.

Chris Thomson, Scotland Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child, said: “We are one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects, distributing over one million gift-filled shoeboxes to needy children at Christmas time last year.

“2011 is the twenty first year of Operation Christmas Child and the level of support from across the county is vital to the continued success of the project and we know we can count on people’s big-heartedness even in difficult economic times.

“Last year we received shoeboxes from supporters in a wide range of communities, including Arbroath, Brechin, Carnoustie, Dundee, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Monifieth and Montrose and over 1,800 gift-filled shoeboxes were distributed to vulnerable children in Belarus and Crimea.

“It’s wonderful to think that we are a small part of such a large global project that is doing so much good for millions of children.

“With 2012 being an Olympic year, we are asking supporters - old and new - to think about including some sporting items in their shoeboxes, as many children are inspired by sport even when life is hard.

“As well as supporters putting in welcome Christmas gifts and educational items, we hope that they may include something like a tennis ball, skipping rope, baseball hat, small football, inflatable beach ball, stop watch, sweat bands or other sports related gifts.

“Also, the shoebox could be decorated with sports stickers or drawings.

Anyone wishing to participate in this year’s shoebox campaign should visit www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk or contact the Helpline on 0870 011 2002.

They will receive a simple set of instructions explaining what to do, what to put in a shoebox, how to pack it, and where to send it for collection and onward transportation.

A £2.50 contribution is requested towards promotion, processing, UK transportation and shipping, they should be ready by November 18 at the latest.