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Charity boxes a success

November 20, 2006, 0:00 2691 www.nwemail.co.uk

BIG-HEARTED: Pupils of Newton Village School are pictured gathering part of their annual shoebox collection, for the Operation Christmas Child project JON GRANGER REF: 0363293

HUNDREDS of the world’s poorest children will receive boxes filled with toys and treats this Christmas packed by generous South Cumbrians.

People across Furness have been rushing to fill shoeboxes ahead of the final collection date on Monday.

The shoeboxes will be shipped over to Eastern Europe under the Operation Christmas Child scheme, run by the Christian relief and evangelism organisation Samaritan’s Purse.

Student Nicola Mathie, 17, has been encouraging her peers at Barrow Sixth Form College to get behind the scheme.

“Everyone’s really taken it in their stride and got into the spirit of it,” said Miss Mathie, from Settle Street, Millom.

“I thought it would be a really good thing to do because I did it at Millom School and after watching the DVD it showed what a big difference it can make to children’s lives.”

Tracy Wells has been collecting shoeboxes in memory of her late friend, the singer-songwriter Anne Fitzpatrick. The friends started collecting for Operation Christmas Child three years ago and Mrs Wells decided to continue the collection at her salon in Scott Street, Barrow, this year after Mrs Fitzpatrick lost her battle with ovarian cancer in February.

She sent 100 boxes off to the Kendal warehouse on Monday and has over 104 boxes collected this week to send on Monday, the final collection date.

All the boxes collected from South Cumbria will be sent to deprived children in Kiev, in the Ukraine.

Mrs Wells said: “I would like to thank the Evening Mail for the publicity behind Operation Christmas Child.

“The response has been fantastic and I know Anne would have been really thrilled.

“This year we’ve excelled and sent more shoeboxes than the first two years put together. I’d like to thank everyone involved.”

The final date to hand in boxes is Monday at Co-op Funeral Services, in Roose Road, Barrow.

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