You can make a difference, this Christmas - in the Courier Shoebox Appeal 2013

Alan Pearson at the Basement Project breakfast club.
Alan Pearson at the Basement Project breakfast club.

Charity starts at home in the Courier Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2013.

Last year, was the first year where thousands of shoeboxes - generously filled by the public - were distributed to vulnerable children, teenagers, adults and families across Calderdale.

Project Challenge summer expedition 2013.

Project Challenge summer expedition 2013.

And this year’s campaign will keep it close to home with local charities: Age UK; Basement Recovery Project - a centre for recovering addicts; Noah’s Ark - a counselling service for children aged four-10 coping with grief; Orangebox - young people’s centre; Project Challenge - training centre for 16-24year-olds; Salvation Army; and SmartMove - a charity for the homeless, signed up to give their service users a gift from you, on Christmas day.

The Basement Project gave out 100 shoeboxes, last year.

Alan Pearson, 64, of Mixenden, Halifax, said: “Getting a shoebox takes the pressure off when bills are mounting up. To know that people care is breathtaking.”

Basment Project manager Michelle Foster said: “A lot of our members won’t receive gifts as most live alone - our service users primarily need toiletries.”

Project Challenge (PC) offers young people affected by drugs, alcohol and emotional issues, the chance to train in a six-month skills programme.

PC’s Lorna Butterick said: “The 2012 shoebox appeal was lifesaver for some of our young people. They benefited from hats, gloves, foods and toiletries. Essential items are not on the top of your list when you have to pay rent and bills. It meant they could use some of their money to buy others small gifts and enjoy Christmas that little bit better.”

Graduate of PC Rebecca MacDonald, 18, received a shoebox, last year, said: “The shoebox meant I had some nice shampoo for my hair and it was comforting to think that other people cared about me.”

Collect your shoebox from the following participating outlets over the next seven-weeks of the campaign from:

Halifax: Asda; The Courier reception; Harveys Cook Shop; Morrisons; Tesco; T S Moodies, Southgate; Sainsburys.

Brighouse: Tesco.

Elland: Morrisons.

Hebden Bridge: Co-operative.

Sowerby Bridge: Tesco

Todmorden: Morrisons.

If you are a school or a large organisation requiring a quantity of shoeboxes contact Rotarian Bryan Harkness 07770471698 or email bh@rkness.co.uk

Fill the shoeboxes with toys, toiletries, foods, and warm clothing accessories - hats, scarves, gloves - suitable for young and older children, teenagers, adults and old aged pensioners.

To date, benefiting charities include: Age UK, Basement Recovery Project, Noah’s Ark, Orangebox, Project Challenge, Salvation Army, SmartMove. If you’re an organisation or charity who can identify suitable needy recipients contact Soo Nevison at Voluntary Action for Calderdale on 01422 438728.