A Christian charity which sends shoeboxes filled with Christmas presents to underprivileged children abroad has issued a SOS for premises in Scarborough.
Each year Operation Christmas Child, run by international aid organisation Samaritan’s Purse, sends millions of shoeboxes worldwide filled with donated gifts to kids who otherwise would have no presents to open on Christmas Day.
Last year, more than 9,000 shoeboxes, packed by a small army of volunteers, left a Scarborough depot on an industrial estate just off Hopper Hill Road, Eastfield heading for war-torn Ukraine.
But that warehouse is not available this time, leaving new Scarborough area coordinator Graham Hobson with a big headache to find a new one.
He said: ‘The warehouse we had last year was ideal for our purposes. It was big enough – we need between 2,500 and 6,500 square feet of space, plus access for an articulated lorry –and had toilets and a kitchen.
‘Unfortunately, we are not able to use it this time, so we desperately need someone to step forward in Scarborough with storage we can use.’
Hundreds of people and organisations throughout the Scarborough area like churches, schools and shops collect the shoeboxes which are delivered for processing at the warehouse hub during November.
The parcels are then taken via lorry to a destination somewhere in Europe and delivered to children, many living in orphanages, or living on the streets and those in poverty who have nothing.
‘It’s great to see and hear reports of how presents from our area have brought joy and a smile to a child’s face on Christmas Day,’ said Graham.
The premises in Scarborough would need to be available from the start of November to about the second week in December.
It would need to be a rent-free property although Operation Christmas Child do pay utility bills.
Mr Hobson said the charity would also like volunteers who can spare their time to come forward, including those who would like to help in lead roles, such as warehouse manager and treasurer.
Graham Hobson can be contacted on (01723) 351317 or 07544 173 798 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Operation Christmas Child will hold a worship service to launch this year’s appeal at Scarborough Christian Fellowship on Castle Road, on Friday, October 20, at 7pm.
Volunteers who would like to help this year at the processing centre are invited to go along.
Samaritan’s Purse new regional manager for North Yorkshire, Adam Tankard, will be at the service to give details about this year’s appeal and the work in Scarborough.