Plea to return festive shoeboxes

Boxing clever: Pupils at St Joseph's Primary School help load a car with 67 shoeboxes.
Boxing clever: Pupils at St Joseph's Primary School help load a car with 67 shoeboxes.

Calderdale’s Rotary clubs have issued an urgent appeal regarding this year’s Christmas shoebox mission.

The clubs’ members said a large number of flat-packs have been taken from local supermarkets by school children and companies, but have not been returned and that they need to be back with organisers by next week.

This year’s appeal, organised by some of Calderdale’s Rotary clubs and funded by a grant from the Community Foundation of Calderdale, is approaching its close with deliveries due to be completed by Monday, December 17.

Rotary members know that to achieve a successful outcome they must collect, sort and distribute more than 2,500 filled boxes to the 20-plus charities well before this date.

More than 1,000 boxes have been returned and sorted into categories ranging from boxes for babies to older children, toiletry boxes and food boxes.

People can still return boxes to any of the supermarkets/stores taking part in the appeal.

They don’t need to return the box to the original outlet from which a flat-pack may have been picked up.

Bryan Harkness, the coordinator, said: “The requests from charities and good causes is at a record high in this the seventh year of Rotary running the appeal.

“We are in the process of collecting from remaining schools, but a final push and a commitment by readers to fill a box if they have one, would be great.”

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School recently phoned the Rotary Club to say ‘our boxes are ready for collection’.

Although 50 flat-packs were originally delivered to the school, 67 were picked up – some beautifully decorated by the children.

Mr Harkness added: “Liz McHale, the school’s deputy headteacher said to students at the beginning of the school council’s planning of the appeal ‘If you have an ordinary empty shoebox at home not doing anything why not consider filling that as well?’

“The result of this was an extra 17 boxes.

“All 67 ‘just fitted’ right up to the roof of the Rotarian’s car sent to collect them! Well done to all at St Joseph’s.”