Returns of Rotary Club Shoeboxes have over doubled

Staff from Royal Sun Alliance from left Lee Walker, Rachel Lowry, James Caine, Elaine Clough with Rotarian Ian Firth
Staff from Royal Sun Alliance from left Lee Walker, Rachel Lowry, James Caine, Elaine Clough with Rotarian Ian Firth

In just two weeks the amount of shoeboxes returned for the Rotary Club appeal has more than doubled from 400 to nearly 1000.

The making of request boxes are underway thanks to ‘Santa’s Little Helpers’ from Lloyds Banking Group to give to charities and good causes that asked for specific boxes.

Members of The Last Friday Club with their filled shoeboxes

Members of The Last Friday Club with their filled shoeboxes

Over the last few days local companies have been returning their boxes, increasing the overall total even more.

Business group The Last Friday Club, which was set up a few years ago by Ramsdens Solicitors, had taken boxes away to fill.

At thir meeting this month nearly 50 filled boxes were passed back into the system.

Sinead Sopala, from Ramsdens, said: “We are delighted to support the community shoebox appeal for the third year….knowing you are helping make a difference to people’s lives in our very own community means a great deal to staff.”

Another member of the club, Frances Day of Bird Board said: “It’s been an absolute joy to be a part of this fabulous movement, to know that women across all our Boards have stepped up to gather gifts specifically for teenage girls.

“We felt it was important for them to know that they weren’t on their own and they have a support network of brave women behind them, routing for them every step of the way.”

Rotary organiser Bryan Harkness and his team have been collecting from schools.

At one Primary School in Todmorden, where 87 boxes were collected, learning mentor Tracey Bardsley explained that one pupil Freya Birch had fundraised by making stress balls out of balloons and rice and sold to fellow pupils.

As a result an amazing £25 was donated to the appeal.

Bryan explained that this contribution and others already received would be utilised in the next two weeks to buy items to meet any shortfalls in making up orders.

He said: “Though we have over 1,000 still to come in we envisage a shortage of items to make up boxes for young babies and also boys in the age range ten to fourteen.

“Each year it seems they are difficult groups for people to fill boxes!”

Anyone who is filling boxes from Tesco at Brighouse, King Cross and Sowerby Bridge, Morrisons in Elland, Sainsbury in Halifax and Harveys of Halifax. should begin to return them soon.

These outlets still have a few flat-packed shoeboxes left if anyone is still wishing to participate, however these are very limited.

There is still time to join in with the appeal and items in an ‘ordinary shoebox’ or in a carrier bag would still be greatly received .

All items can be distributed and the Rotary Club will carry on collecting and distributing the kindly gifted shoebox items to within a few days of Christmas itself.