Last Christmas, over 2,000 gift-filled shoeboxes from Inishowen brought squeals of delight to children living in desperate poverty in Romania.
The boxes, collected from schoolchildren, businesses, community groups, churches and generous individuals across the peninsula were hand-delivered by Inishowen coordinator Ruth Garvey-Williams who had the privilege of travelling to Romania along with a TV3 film crew and other co-ordinators from around the country.
“It is hard to express the abject poverty we witnesses first hand,” Ruth commented.
“But the simple gifts, packed into a wrapped shoebox brought such joy to the children we met.
Even a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste were treated as treasured possessions by youngsters living in one-roomed shacks.
“It was so amazing to see for myself that the boxes are delivered right into the hands of thechildren who need them most,” Ruth added.
“I was also so encouraged to know that Team Hope’s partner charity in Romania is working all year round to help these children, breaking the cycles of poverty and neglect.”
The official launch of the appeal in Inishowen will take place on Thursday, 27th October at 7.30pm at The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana.
Everyone is welcome to go along for an inspirational evening of stories, videos and photos from Romania, as well as information about the appeal and how volunteers can get involved. Free refreshments are provided.
The Christmas Shoebox appeal is so simple (and lots of fun). Find an empty shoebox and
wrap it with colourful Christmas paper. Then fill it with small simple gifts such as
copybooks and colouring pencils, sweets, a woolly hat or scarf, a toothbrush and toothpaste and a small toy. Add €4 to help cover the cost of transporting the boxes and
then deliver it to one of the Inishowen drop off points.
Leaflets explaining how you can get involved are available in local shops, libraries and
churches or by emailing email@example.com. Alternatively, you can download a leaflet from the Team Hope website (www.teamhope.ie).
Drop off points will be open from Thursday, 27th October. Filled boxes can be delivered at these locations until Wednesday, 16th November: Supervalu, Buncrana; Supervalu, Carndonagh; Serenity House, Moville.
Those unable to fill a box can donate ‘fillers’ (cuddly toys, stationery items, toothpaste,knitted scarves, and sweets).
Volunteers are needed daily from Monday, 7th to Thursday, 17th November to help check, seal and pack up all the boxes from across Inishowen (to comply with customs regulations).
We also need drivers to help collect boxes from schools and other groups. If you would like to help or have any further questions please call Ruth or Andrew on 087 256 4777 or 074 93 22622, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find the Inishowen Christmas Shoebox Appeal page on Facebook.