Send a shoebox full of gifts and love this Christmas . . .

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COULD you bring the gift of happiness to young people in need this Christmas?

This year the Courier has teamed up with Rotary clubs across Calderdale to try to bring some much-needed cheer to desperately poor people in eastern europe.

And we need YOUR help.

We are asking readers to join in with the annual Rotary International Shoe Box Scheme and brighten up the lives of children like the ones pictured on this page.

Every year Rotary takes shoboxes full of simple gifts to deprived children and people who are in desperate conditions in Romania, the Ukraine, Moldova and parts of eastern Europe.

They say items we take for granted in our daily lives can make a huge difference to the poor families there.

In the case of the children, these toys may be the first gifts they have received for a very long time.

And YOU can make that happen.

To take part, come along to the Courier office in King Cross Street to collect a flat-pack box and fill it with new or quality used toys, teenage items or household goods.

A guide to what sort of gifts to include is printed on each box.

And Rotary are asking for a donation of just £1 to cover the cost of transporting the box across Europe which will be payable when you collect your shoebox.

Suitable toys to include are small toy cars, small bouncy balls, jigsaws, fluffy toys, dolls, colouring books, felt tip pens and yo-yos.

Household goods such as hand soap, toothpaste and brushes, envelopes, letter paper and pens are also always welcome.

Don’t forget teenage boys and girls up to the age of 18 with gifts such as make-up, toiletries, sportswear, scarves, gloves, hats, writing materials, combs and football memorabilia.

Filled boxes must then be returned to us by November 21 for collection by Rotary.

Rotary is urging people only to take the boxes if they are intending on filling them as there are a limited amount available.

Other shoebox distribution and collection points have also been arranged by Rotary - there’s a list on this page.

The Rotary Shoebox Scheme is an internationally recognised programme which has been sending aid internationally for many years.

How you can take part

1. Go to the Courier office in King Cross Street or any of the places listed below.

2. Collect your empty shoebox - and pay £1 to cover the cost of transport.

3 Fill the shoebox with simple gifts.

Suggestions will be printed on the box.

You could fill the box for a young child, a teenager or even an adult.

4. Return your filled showbox as soon as you can - and by November 21 at the latest.

The Courier will keep you up to date on how the appeal is going and where the shoeboxes end up.

Where you can collect your shoebox - and return it filled:

* Halifax: The Courier, King Cross Street.

Harveys of Halifax ‘Cook Shop’, Commercial St.

* Todmorden: Storah Architects Ltd,

46, Halifax Road;

Jayne Brearley & Co Solicitors, 2 White Hart Fold

* Sowerby Bridge: Tesco Store, Sowerby Bridge

* Hebden Bridge: The Pot Shop, 3 Carlton St.

* Elland: Keith Woodward Travel, Southgate

The Paper Shop, Stainland Road, West Vale.