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Shoebox appeal launched in South Lakeland
A NEWLY-established charity invited a special guest from Eastern Europe to visit schools in South Lakeland to rally support for its shoebox appeal.
Romanian Nicu Gal, from Oradea, works with Christian charity People to People and also with Boxes of Hope Cumbria, which has just become a registered charity.
Since 2005, a team of passionate volunteers has been co-ordinating the thousands of shoeboxes that are donated by communities in Cumbria and transported to Romania.
It was Nicu’s first visit to Cumbria and while in South Lakeland he visited Kendal’s Heron Hill Primary School and Queen Katherine School, and also The Lakes School, Troutbeck Bridge, to educate children and explain to them how valuable the gift-filled shoeboxes are to the children of Romania.
Nicu told the children of Heron Hill Primary: “It is magic when the children get their box, for most of them it is the first gift they have ever had.”
The father-of-two answered questions from Year 5 and Year 6 pupils who were eager to learn more about the lives of children in Romania and how they feel when they open up the shoeboxes.
Nicu said: “When I was a child, I received a box and my brothers and sisters have too. “I know the joy of receiving such gifts at Christmas.
“I have been doing this job for 14 to 15 years because I saw so many kids that needed this kind of help and I have kept on doing it because I get to see the happiness in the eyes of the kids when they receive a box.
“It brings me so much joy.”
Last year Cumbria sent 7,500 Christmas boxes to Romania and the charity hopes to get at least 10,000 this year.
You can make up your own shoebox and pop it into many locations across South Lakeland, with The Westmorland Gazette being one of the drop-off locations.
For more information on helping and what gifts to pack in your shoebox, visit www.boxesofhopecumbria.co.uk.
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