Published online only.
Saturday,14 November 2015
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Operation Christmas Child
swings into action at Golden Square Shopping Centre
WARRINGTON shoe shop staff are
preparing to welcome boxes packed with Christmas goodies for crisis hit
youngsters around the globe, including Syria. Shoe Zone at Golden Square
Shopping Centre is the town's drop off point for Operation Christmas Child; now
in its 25th year. The charity sends millions of shoe boxes full of toys, sweets
and treats to youngsters around the world to help them celebrate the
festivities. Shoe Zone stores around the UK are all helping the charity by
collecting parcels for their local branches, plus giving empty shoe boxes to be
Usually up to 100 Operation Christmas Child (OCC) boxes are handed into the
Warrington store, said manager Diane Norton said:- "We save all our empty
show boxes from now on and anyone who wants to come and collect one to fill is
welcome. Then between November 1 and 18 they can bring the filled boxes back to
us and the Operation Christmas Child team will deliver them."
This year the charity has pre-wrapped boxes available for a £3 donation; though
shoppers can also use their own empty shoe boxes; and can be filled with
appropriate gifts for a boy or girl aged between the age of 2 and 14.
"The number of boxes handed in varies from year to year. Sometimes we have a
school or nursery come in and take 30 boxes in one go, so it depends on that
really but it always goes down well. I think any charity to do with children
does well, especially when you hear the stories from places like Syria at the
moment. It's just heart wrenching and people want to help however they can." said Diane, a mother, who lives in Runcorn.
Golden Square Shopping Centre director Ian Cox praised shoppers for supporting
Operation Christmas Child. He said:- "As a dad I know how much pleasure
children get from opening presents at any time of year, not just Christmas.
These shoeboxes will be treasured by the youngsters who receive them, while the
memory that somebody, many miles away in the UK, took a moment to consider their
plight will stay with them for years. I know every year that a large number of
Golden Square shoppers take the time and trouble to fill shoeboxes with a
collection of gifts; I'd like to thank them for their kindness and generosity."
Operation Christmas Child was started 25 years ago by David Cooke in North
Wales, who saw TV programme Challenge Anneka and decided he could set something
He started filling boxes and driving them over to Romania himself but people
caught on and the idea evolved to such an extent that he could no longer manage
it himself. Charity Samaritan's Purse stepped in to run the operation and have
continued to grow the project year on year.
Samaritan's Purse north west regional manager Ian Taylor welcomed the support of
the Shoe Zone team at the Golden Square Shopping Centre. He said:- "I go
to a lot of stores and collect up a lot of boxes and I have to say that every
time I am so impressed with the helpful and considerate nature of the staff at
Shoe Zone. They couldn't be more positive and willing to help. We've always had
a great response through Shoe Zone over many years and I'm sure that this year
will be no exception at Golden Square. It's great to have them on board."
Shoe Zone's involvement with Operation Christmas Child has been fundamental in
helping the charity distribute hundreds of thousands of boxes across the globe.
Boxes can be filled with appropriate gifts for boys or girls between the age of
two and 14, and the charity in particular are keen to support boys between 10
and 14, who often get overlooked.
Suggestions for this age group include pencils, a calculator, note pad or tape
measure which can often help them not only get a gift but learn a trade.
Diane explained:- "All sorts of things are welcome and people should
remember that although a few essentials like soap and a hair brush can be nice,
ideally it should be a box with a sense of fun; something that makes the child
smile. Little cuddly toys and games and some sweets alongside the practical
items. Giving something to write with and something to write on means that the
gift of a shoe box can open doors and enable children to go to school in some
parts of the world. Sometime people struggle to remember that it's a great way
of celebrating Christmas when we are surrounded by kids set on getting the
latest piece of technology or whatever. It is so important to remember that
there are children in the world who have witnessed incredibly awful things and
let them know that there are people out there."
Anyone wanting to support Operation Christmas Child can call in to Shoe Zone at
the Golden Square Shopping Centre and collect a box to fill with gifts for a
child in need.
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Deceased estates notice - Lilian May
Pursuant to the Trustee Act 1925, any persons
having a claim against or an interest in the Estate of Lilian
May Jackam (also known as Lillian May) Jackam (Deceased), late
of Birch Abbey Rest Home, 55 Alexandra Road, Southport,
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