Take a minute to look at these pictures. Look closely. Is this how you will be spending Christmas Day?
Luckily, for many of us, it isn’t. But you can help us spread the joy and festive cheer which will bring tears of happiness, not sadness to these deprived children this Christmas.
For the last 15 years, Elizabeth Tatman is one of those who has been sharing gifts of love, joy and happiness with deprived children in central and eastern Europe.
Rotary member Elizabeth is annually involved in getting the boxes into the hands of needy kids.
Boxes are loaded up at a warehouse near Preston and as each lorry is filled, two drivers take it on its three to five-day journey to its destination. Elizabeth has seen first hand the difference it makes to children in Romania. They take the boxes to Iasi or Baia Mare where they meet up with charity workers or Romanian Rotarians.
“To be there and hand them over and see the expressions on the children’s faces is very moving,” she said.
The boxes go to schools, children’s homes and family group homes to children who live in conditions many of us would have thought are long gone – especially with the expansion of the European Union.
“People say ‘Why are we still sending them to places like Romania which is in the European Union?’
“You only have to look at the pictures. Some of them are still living in houses which have no heating and no running water and their only transport to get out of their village is a horse and cart,” said Elizabeth. “It’s a completely different world out there.
“Very often these children won’t have had anything that actually belongs to them. These aren’t children who are being asked what they want on their Christmas list. They won’t be able to write a Christmas list because they’ll never be able to get it.
“To see the happiness on the children’s faces is amazing,” said Elizabeth.
“It’s nothing amazing in there, nothing of great expense inside, but it makes such a difference,” she said.
To get involved, go to one of the collection/drop-off points below and pay £1 for transport and fill the box with goodies and treats.
This Christmas, be the person who can bring the first smile to a child’s face in many months.
Collection points: The Courier reception, Storah Architects, Todmorden, Jayne Brearley and Co Solicitors, Sowerby Bridge, Tesco at King Cross and Sowerby Bridge, Asda, Thrum Hall, Morrisons, Illingworth, The Pot Stop, Hebden Bridge, Kier Woodward Travel, Elland and The Paper Shop, Stainland Road, West Vale.