VAC hailed for shoebox support

HELP: CEO of VAC Dipika Kaushal with appeal co-ordinator Bryan Harkness and VAC's Maggie Opacic.
HELP: CEO of VAC Dipika Kaushal with appeal co-ordinator Bryan Harkness and VAC's Maggie Opacic.

Rotary Clubs across the area have thanked Voluntary Action Calderdale (VAC) for its valuable support with their annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal since 2012.

VAC stepped in to support the shoebox appeal when it heard the Rotary Clubs needed a base to operate from, and also helped out with information about local charitable organisations.

The group provides a number of services, including volunteering projects, offering meeting rooms and infrastructure support to the local voluntary and community sector.

A Rotary Club spokesman said: “Not only were VAC able to identify local charities and good causes who could benefit from the receipt of filled shoeboxes at Christmas time, they had vital storage facilities.

“They kindly offered the latter to the Rotary Clubs enabling them to house and sort boxes as they are returned from the many schools, supermarkets and local businesses in the area.

“Every year it becomes extremely busy as the end of November approaches when hundreds of filled boxes begin to be returned for sorting.

“The dozen and more charities who require boxes will be submitting their requirements for their clientele and only when boxes are returned in sufficient numbers will we be able to see if we are on target for having the correct ‘mix’ of boxes.

“The reason for this is the options for filling range, from children’s boxes of all ages to male and female toiletry boxes and food boxes, are varied.

“It’s a bit like ordering stock for a shoe shop.

“VAC runs a number of projects which have a range of volunteering opportunities.

“Their volunteering roles help make a real difference for local people across Calderdale.”

Dipika Kaushal, CEO of VAC said: “As an organisation our ethos is all about improving local lives and that is exactly what the Rotary Shoebox Appeal does year upon year.

“VAC is proud to be a part of such a fantastic local initiative.”

Flat-pack boxes are available from Tesco at Brighouse, King Cross and Sowerby Bridge, Morrisons at Elland and Keighley Road, Sainsburys Halifax and The Cook Shop at Harveys of Halifax. The deadline for return is early December to any of these outlets.

Charities/good causes requiring filled boxes can contact appeal co-ordinator Bryan Harkness on 07770 471698.