Fill a shoebox this Christmas for charities like SmartMove

Volunteer co-ordinator Ken Lockett (left) and chief executive Stuart Rumney at Calderdale SmartMove.
Volunteer co-ordinator Ken Lockett (left) and chief executive Stuart Rumney at Calderdale SmartMove.

The Shoebox Christmas Appeal 2012 is in full swing - with schools across Calderdale pledging to take part, and help improve Christmas for those in need across the area.

At the last count, 15 primary schools had asked to fill a total 1,580 shoeboxes for this year’s appeal, run by the Rotary Clubs in Calderdale and the Courier, with Voluntary Action Calderdale. But we still have many more to ready to be filled.

The shoeboxes will be distibuted among charities and organisations across Calderdale - including homeless charity Calderdale SmartMove, which has been helping vulnerable people across Calderdale find safe and secure accommodation since 1998.

Many have issues such as learning disabilities, mental health problems or have experienced domestic abuse.

Volunteer co-ordinator Ken Lockett said: “We’re already more than aware of the generosity of local people and even before donations are made would like to say a massive thank you in advance.

“Christmas is a difficult time for many people and the majority of SmartMove’s clients will be glad to see the back of the year.

“We hope to provide shoe boxes to the children of our clients with small toys and chocolates included. Also for the adults hygiene goods such had toiletries would be really appreciated and even the odd chocolate treat would be great.”

One SmartMove client, who did not want to be identified, said: “It has been a horrible year but at last I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have no surplus money as I can just about cover my costs.

“I feel so embarrassed that I cannot afford presents for my grandchildren who themselves have next to nothing.

“By giving a shoe box full of goodies, it would boost my own morale and bring smiley faces to the little ones.

“I really would be most appreciative and it gives me faith in the world again.”

To take part in the appeal, pick up your shoebox from one of the outlets across Calderdale, donate £1 and fill it with gifts.

There are three alternative fillings - children’s toys, toiletries and food. Organisers say at the moment they are particularly short of men’s toiletries.

Outlets to pick up - and drop off - shoeboxes are listed below:

In Halifax: The Courier, King Cross Street; Harveys Cook Shop; Tesco, King Cross; Sainsbury’s, Wade Street; Asda, Thrum Hall Lane.

Brighouse: Tesco

Elland: Co-operative

Sowerby Bridge: tesco

Hebden Bridge: Co-operative, Market Street

Todmorden: Morrisons

Filled boxes can be returned by the end of November.