Warehouse needed for Sheffield shoebox appeal

Sandra received a shoebox packed with gifts.
Sandra received a shoebox packed with gifts.
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Volunteers in Sheffield who co-ordinate the annual Christmas shoebox appeal for children in deprived parts of the world need a temporary warehouse.

Samaritan’s Purse runs the Operation Christmas Child shoebox project from the city every year, where shoeboxes packed with gifts for children are packed on to lorries bound for needy youngsters around the world.

On average around 18,000 boxes are processed in Sheffield every November and December, with warehousing normally offered free of charge by companies or landlords with space to spare.

But this year a warehouse has not yet been found.

Adam Tankard, regional manager for Samaritan’s Purse, travelled to Rwanda last year to see the shoeboxes being handed out.

They are filled with gifts including toiletries, sweets, stationery, hats, gloves, scarves and toys.

He said: “I brought a box all the way from Sheffield and decided to give it to a little girl called Sandra.

“She was a quiet girl who I was told had been orphaned.

“Sandra sat holding on to her box, waiting until all the other children had received theirs.”

He added: “When every child had a box, there was an amazing sense of anticipation and excitement in the tiny classroom where about 200 children had crammed in to collect their boxes.

“The shouts and squeals of pure excitement, joy and fun were incredible.

“Children were exploring the contents of their boxes, playing with their new toys and eating the little packets of sweets they had been given.”

The warehouse needs to be a minimum of 8,000 sq ft, with access for an articulated lorry.

Anyone who is able to offer suitable space should contact Adam Tankard on 07973 437235.