Elves go off duty as Shoebox Appeal boxes go to those in need

Picking up boxes from Ravenscliffe High School.
Picking up boxes from Ravenscliffe High School.

Myself and Wilson Simms have informed The Courier that Santa’s ‘Hidden Grotto’ in Calderdale is now ‘all quiet’ for another year.

Wilson said: “Over 2,000 beautifully filled Christmas Shoeboxes are now in the hands of the 24 charities and good causes situated along the length and breadth of Calderdale where boxes, as you read this report, will be being distributed to individuals attending perhaps Christmas parties, to families in their homes or individuals in social care.”

The recipients of this year’s boxes might otherwise have expected to receive very little in the way of presents at this festive time, so it’s great that the community spirit and the giving by Calderdale folk will place so many smiles on faces this Christmas.

The very last boxes within the last week were provided by staff and students from some of our communities’ leading secondary schools, namely Brighouse High who filled over 50, Crossley Heath who filled a fantastic 100, then to the really big “star of the show” Ravenscliffe High School with an almost unbelievable 242.

Both myself and Wilson, suitably attired as elves, went along to Ravenscliffe’s Christmas assembly to receive the boxes and thank everyone for the wonderful donations and beautifully filled and decorated boxes.

On the far left of Rotarian Wilson is Lindsay the school’s coordinator of the shoeboxes, next to her Pauline and her daughter Kaylee who attends the school, in the middle of the elves is student Michael, while far right is Claire the school’s maths coordinator.

Claire said: “It was exciting and very enjoyable for those students in my maths class, as the fantastic monetary donations from parents, staff, outside organisations such as the Ormandy Group in Bradford, enabled me to take our students to select, buy and ultimately fill so many of the boxes given to the Rotary Appeal.”

For the students themselves that shopping experience was, she told us, quite unique for them and instructive as a home economics project. The students loved it!

Myself and Wilson have now left the grotto, have temporarily “hung up” our elf outfits and are now going to have short rest before perhaps helping the real Santa on Christmas Eve.

Rotary once again thanks absolutely everyone, readers and box fillers, the four participating Rotary clubs, the schools, companies, the outlet supermarkets, the Courier for its reporting and CFFC who has supported the box funding over the years.

Just a quick note besides Ravenscliffe, the star performer on the company front was RSA who also filled 240 boxes, so a big thank you to them.

Members of Calderdale Rotary Clubs would like to say a huge Happy Christmas to all.