The festive elves at the Rotary clubs throughout Calderdale are once again amazed at the response over the last seven weeks to its Christmas Community Shoebox Appeal.
“The figures are amazing,” said Rotarian Bryan Harkness from the Rotary Club of Halifax.
“By the time of this publication, just a few days before Christmas, over 2,500 Christmas boxes, some beautifully wrapped, will have been given to those less fortunate than many within our community.”
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This year there have been 20 per cent more boxes than in 2017 with over 1250 filled for children. The rest comprise toiletry and food boxes.
Rotary has achieved this fantastic response of ‘giving’ from all sectors of the community with thirty schools joining the appeal and more local businesses and shoppers than ever before.
The number of boxes filled by children and students from all the thirty schools exceeded 1,400.
Many had been wonderfully decorated on the outside and lots of children has recycled old shoeboxes for this year’s appeal.
The last school pick-up was from Ravenscliffe High School, Halifax and head Martin Moorman, his staff and parents had ‘pulled out’ all the stops again with a record 167 boxes.
Bryan said: “This was amazing. I had not expected anyone to beat St Chads Brighouse of 131, then came along The Gleddings with 144, a finally Ravenscliffe!”
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The record number of charities and good causes, themselves this year at a record twenty-three, had a lot of praise for the appeal.
Lorna from Project Challenge said: “The Shoebox Appeal and what it offers is fantastic, in particular at this time of year when their monies are only just enough to feed themselves, so to have a little ‘luxury’ is a big treat!”
Dominic from Calderdale SmartMove said: “Thanks to the Rotary movement and Calderdale people their presents do make a huge difference to the homeless and vulnerable across our district as we are able to give them out every year at our Clients party and the smiles they provide!”
Michelle from Basement Recovery said: “The Basement Recovery Project’s Breakfast club provides twice weekly drop-ins for food and advice services to those who are socially excluded or homeless.
“The giving of a Christmas Box touches all of them in a big way as they expect to receive nothing at all as their esteem is very low with the feeling of deserving nothing. These small gifts, donated, tell them that they do indeed deserve to receive and that Calderdale people do in fact care.”
The Rotary Club would like to say thank you to the sponsors, The Community Foundation of Calderdale as well as the storage and working space provided by Voluntary Action Calderdale.