An appeal has been started in Peasedown St John for local residents to start putting together Christmas shoeboxes for poor and orphaned children.
Mercy in Action, who opened their doors in the village almost 4 years ago, are asking for people to come forward to ensure orphaned and poor children in the Philippines have something to look forward to this Christmas.
In recent times, many charities ask people to fill shoeboxes with gifts, food products and toys that can be taken to those less well off in different parts of the world.
Mercy in Action has been working with street children and families living in poverty in the Philippines for nearly 20 years.
They run two children’s homes, a community drop-in-centre and a schooling programme that sponsors 400 children to attend school. The vast majority of funding for these projects comes from their chain of charity shops around Bath and elsewhere.
In Peasedown St John, shop manager Mike Smith along with Peasedown councillors Karen Walker and Nathan Hartley are asking people to support the latest campaign and provide items which can be sent to some of the poorest people in the world for Christmas.
Manager Mike said: “The shop is a part of community life here in the village, and the residents have always shown their support by shopping here, donating and joining the volunteer team.
“We hope they will get behind us with our shoebox appeal, and show their support for people in the Philippines.”
Completed shoeboxes need to be handed into the Mercy in Action charity shop, Peasedown, by the end of August – so they can be shipped overseas.
Local campaigner and Vice Chairman of the Parish Council, Karen Walker said: “We need small toys, such as dolls, balls, and small puzzles. Toiletries including flannels, toothbrushes, and toothpaste – plus hair bands, combs and other products. Sweets, but nothing that could melt, and tinned goods such as tuna or mackerel.
“The children also love Christmas cards or letters from people who donate shoeboxes, so feel free to write a personal message – something many of the children won’t receive this Christmas.”
Peasedown’s Mercy in Action shoebox appeal is being supported by tRed shoes, who are donating shoeboxes for the task.
Thanks to tReds, shoeboxes are provided for anyone who’d like to take part in the appeal – but anyone can provide their own.
Mercy in Action are keen for shoeboxes to be gender separated and separated into age groups such as young child, 8-10 years old and teenager.
Councillor Nathan Hartley added: “Many of us will see depressing news stories on the TV and in the newspaper about poor communities around the world and wonder what we can do to make a difference. Thanks to charities like Mercy in Action, helping is made easy.
“Just by filling a shoebox this summer, Mercy in Action will make sure it’s with some of the world’s poorest children by Christmas.”
To support the Mercy in Action Peasedown Shoebox Appeal visit the shop in Bath Road, Peasedown, or call 01761 568317.