Generous readers make big difference

Rotary Club shoeboxes and other donated Christmas gifts at Calderdale SmatMove, Halifax.'From the left, Christine Phelan, Isobel Winder, seven, Brenda Aitken, Nathan Crossley, 12, and Father Christmas.
Rotary Club shoeboxes and other donated Christmas gifts at Calderdale SmatMove, Halifax.'From the left, Christine Phelan, Isobel Winder, seven, Brenda Aitken, Nathan Crossley, 12, and Father Christmas.

Thousands of shoeboxes filled with gifts of love have gone to people in need across Calderdale, this Christmas.

Thank you for your generous participation in the Courier and Rotary of Calderdale campaign to fill over 2,000 shoeboxes which have been distributed to charities with clients in need of some help, this Christmas.

In a Christmas party at SmartMove - a charity for homeless and vulnerably housed people, around 100 shoeboxes were given out to adults and children, along with gifts donated by Covea Insurance, Electricity Alliance North, and Sainsbury’s, Halifax, and Cliffe Hill Primary School, Lightcliffe.

Single mum Claire Castle , of Halifax, was at the charity’s party along with her 17-month-old daughter Mia.

Mother and daughter received a Rotary shoebox for Christmas 2013.

Claire said: “Getting a shoebox and gifts is great - it’s nice to know people care and makes a big difference to children who don’t have a lot. The gifts take the pressure off at Christmas time - it’s hard work bringing a child up on your own.”

Claire enjoyed Christmas at home; cooking dinner for her family.

Christine Phelan, 49, of Elland, was at the party along with Brenda Aitken, 64, of Rastrick, and her grandson Nathan Crossley, 12. All received a Christmas shoebox gifts.

Brenda said: “It’s wonderful to give and receive presents at this time. Thank you on behalf of me and my grandson to people who have donated gifts - it’s very kind.”

Rotarian Bryan Harkness said: “A massive thank you to everyone who has given up their time and money to make a big difference to vulnerable children, men and women. All shoeboxes were distributed on time - it was hectic but we achieved our mission for the second year running - thanks to a great time effort by all involved.”