Charity shoeboxes head for Africa with Claire's help

Volunteer day at Christmas charity

Claire helps process Christmas shoeboxes for youngsters in Liberia - Credit: Archant

Preparing shoeboxes which will bring some Christmas cheer to youngsters in Liberia was all in a day's work for volunteer Claire Alcock.

Claire,  group recruitment manager for the Hunts Post's parent Archant, used her volunteering day off to join the Operation Christmas Child regional processing centre at St Neots where she helped prepare the boxes for their journey to West Africa.

She said: "I had a brilliant day. St Neots is one of seven processing centres in the country and has 12,000 shoe boxes waiting to be processed with more being delivered this week. 

"The shoe boxes are on their way to Liberia and are just some of of the 400,000 boxes that the UK will send across Europe and West Africa this year.  Ten million boxes are sent world wide and whilst I was processing in St Neots pictures came from the processing centre in South Korea."

Claire said: "Children that receive the boxes will only ever get one in their lifetime the chance for gifts that mean the world to them. So it’s important the boxes contain the right things for their age group and that the items are new or in immaculate condition.

"There are rules around what can and can’t go to Liberia and we had to remove soap from every box as otherwise there is heavy customs duty to pay on entry to Liberia. "

She said the charity needed volunteers all over the country, including the St Neots centre in the old Poundstretcher store, with spots available during the day and helpers could register with the charity in advance or just call in. 

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Information is available from https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/seasonal-processing/?fbclid=IwAR1aouIbrnEz3uXaufaw8ic7UUH8Hba66LHJ_HBNP5J8u2lzOUu2LJWir0M

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