THE Drop Inn Ministries in Ballymoney whose efforts to help the poor and needy in Third World countries have been widely acknowledged, have launched their annual Christmas Shoebox Appeal.
Volunteers at the Centre in Castlecroft have begun this year’s effort so that there is plenty of time to exceed last year’s total of 1334 boxes which were distributed to children in Belarus.
Drop Inn Ministries have been sending humanitarian aid to Belarus since 1995 and have always received solid support from the local public.
Volunteer, Edwina Chambers, and her fellow workers are desperate to ensure that as many children as possible can benefit from the generosity of North Antrim people.
Edwina told the Times: “Our boxes go to children who live in orphanages, hospital or whose klives are affected by povery and ill health.
“The help of the public can bring joy into the lives of many need children this Christmas.”
Edwina suggests that anyone planning to send a box concentrates on putting in a smalltoy,small game, cuddly toy, stationery, confectionery, toiletries, clothing and a letter or photograph.
She discourages sending toy guns, knives, marbles, toys which depend on batteries, aerosols, liquid containers, food stuff (except sweets) medicine of any kind, glass containers, books (unless written in Russian).
Boxes should be 12”x7”x6”or as close as possible and should be wrapped in wrapping paper. Senders are asked not to seal the box as it may need to be checked at border crossings.
Age groups are 5-8 years, 9012 years and 13 to 16 years.
All shoeboxes need to be with the Drop Inn Charity by November 7. It would also be very helpful if donors could place £1 in a sealed envelope and attach it to the outside of the shoebox for shipping costs.
Edwina has pleaded with the public to support the project as well as schools, churches, youth organisations, etc.
She has also appealed for volunteers to go out to Belarus with the shipment.
“I suspect that if people did volunteer their services their whole perspective on life would be altered,” she added.