Businesses, staff and shoppers at Bradley Stoke’s Willow Brook Centre have come together in an early expression of Christmas spirit to collect around 300 shoeboxes for needy families in Eastern Europe.
Kumon Educational UK, which has a regional office in the town centre complex, has teamed up with Link Romania as part of its corporate social responsibility programme, and students have been busy filling shoeboxes with gifts ready to be sent to deprived families in Romania, Moldova and Albania in time for Christmas.
A shoebox display has been positioned near the entrance of the centre’s shopping mall for the last few weeks and Kumon’s Regional Manager Kate Sheldon says she is delighted with the response:
“We’d like to thank everyone who’s participated in this appeal and donated a shoebox. The response has been brilliant – overwhelming even – and we now have around 300 boxes piled up. This appeal provides the opportunity for us all to learn about the daily challenges faced by these communities, and is a great way to teach children how important it is to give to those less fortunate than themselves.”
The appeal officially ends today (Friday 6th) but Kate says that shoeboxes will continue to be accepted over the weekend as Link Romania representatives are not due to collect the consignment until early next week.
Since its foundation in 1991, Link Romania has brought relief to thousands of deprived people in Eastern Europe. Through the simple idea of filling a shoebox, anyone in the UK can send a Christmas gift to a family in Romania, Albania or Moldova. Many are desperately poor, living in appalling conditions and struggling to survive the terrible winters with no running water, heating or electricity. Large families spanning three generations may live together in a shack of just one or two rooms, sharing the same life of hardship under one roof.
Lisa Hector, Link Romania’s General Manager, says:
“We’re thrilled to be working with such a like-minded organisation. Kumon’s students can really help us to make a huge impact with our Family Shoebox Appeal. At the same time we’re also benefiting from Kumon helping to raise awareness of our organisation and our mission, and we are truly grateful.”
Advice on what to put in a shoebox and how to pack it is available on the Link Romania website.
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