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Buckie shoeboxes are Hungary bound

By Alan Beresford

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CHRISTMAS giving and good will to all was strongly in evidence as the local arm of the Blythswood Care shoebox appeal got ready to send donations out to the needy in Eastern Europe.

Getting cracking with the packing are Joan Thain (front left) and Lorna Cruickshank (front right) along with other Blysthwood volunteers.
Picture: Becky Saunderson
Getting cracking with the packing are Joan Thain (front left) and Lorna Cruickshank (front right) along with other Blysthwood volunteers. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Buckie Baptist Church hall was once again a hive of activity as around 40 volunteers drawn from churches and other organisation across the area laboured to fill shoeboxes filled with goodies for both adults and children.

Members of the public could submit shoeboxes which they had filled themselves to the centre or donate items which the volunteers could then pull together to fill shoeboxes. Also welcome were cash donations to help the costs if transporting the boxes.

Boxes from Buckie and the surrounding area are this year destined for Hungary after many years of Romania being the destination selected by the charity.

One of those delighted with yet another excellent community response to the appeal for support is local Blythswood organiser George Flett.

He said: "People in Buckie and the surrounding area have again been very generous in supporting the shoebox appeal.

"Whether it was by donating filled shoeboxes, items for shoeboxes or cash, it has all been most welcome and very much appreciated. We're always grateful for anything we get and what people can spare us. This year I'd say we had a roughly 50-50 split between donations of filled boxes and goods to fill boxes.

"In addition to donations from the public we've had great support from local churches

"I must also say a huge thanks you to the team of volunteers, without whom we simply couldn't have done this.

"There's been a slight improvement this year in the number of boxes we've managed to fill for teenagers – they're usually the hardest to fill. The easiest ones to prepare are always the ones for three to five-year-olds, both boys and girls."

While the shoebox campaign for Eastern Europe has been running for a few years now, Mr Flett was in no doubt that it was as relevant as ever it was.

"The need for these boxes by people in the countries we send them to is very strong," he continued.

"It doesn't matter how many other organisations there are like us out there doing this, it still wouldn't be enough to meet the need.

"We could double what we send and not meet it. There's some very serious poverty out there, these boxes mean so much to those who receive them and is what makes every single donation so important."

Mr Flett went on to stress that the shoeboxes were distributed throughout Eastern Europe by trusted partners of Blythswood Care to ensure they reached those for whom they were intended.

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