Posted: 20.11.20 at 16:57 by Beth Sharp
Can you imagine not having money to buy your children a gift or feed them a Christmas dinner - a lot of people do not have to.
The town’s residents have been asked, by Christian Aid for Eastern Europe - which has a store based in Spiders Lane, Exmouth, to get involved in its Christmas Shoebox Appeal.
All you have to do is find a shoebox and fill it with new, non-perishable items and label it for a child, granny or granddad.
Boxes need to be wrapped securely in festive paper and be marked on the outside very clearly with the gender and age range of your intended recipient. For example, BOY age 14 to 18, GIRL age 6 to 9.
You can also enclose photos of you or your family and maybe a little note written in English.
Once complete, call 01626 891945 or 07970 204506 to find out where your nearest collection point is.
Hugh Scudder, of Christian Response to Eastern Europe, said: "Under normal circumstances, (with no Covid-19), I try to be in Moldova for the distribution of these boxes together with our wonderful team in Moldova, again all volunteers.
"Our work has been going for 30 years now and during that time I have seen many things.
"Despite these years our Christmas Appeal still brings tears to my eyes.
"The children are so wonderful and generous. If they find, say, a packet of pencils they immediately say, 'oh, I can give some of these to...'.
"A few years ago, in one of our soup kitchens we had prepared a special Christmas meal for the children, nothing too extravagant but a little more than normal.
"The children put on some entertainment and everyone was having a lovely time. I noticed a little girl, about nine years old, she was not eating her food.
"I was concerned and asked if she did not like the food. She said it looked lovely. I asked why she was not eating it then, her reply was - I want to take my food back for my family.
"They had so little at home and she wanted to help her parents and siblings. Needless to say we asked her to eat everything as we would give her some to take home."
Hugh asked people to be generous and encouraged families to get together and make one really good shoebox, as it could be expensive.
He added: "It is really humbling to see how excited the children are when they receive a shoebox, no doubt the only Christmas gift they will have.
“These are really lovely children who deserve the very best we can give therefore we insist on everything being new.
“Simple things such as a magnifying glass or glow sticks cause so much excitement.
“If we had a prescribed list then everyone would have the same in their shoebox but as it is every box is different and this means when they are opened they are all excited and eagerly showing each other all they have.
“Seeing a young child excited about a bar of soap or a tooth brush makes me feel so emotional.”
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