Underprivileged children in the UK and abroad will receive shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts from staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
Nearly 70 shoeboxes have been donated as part of the Samaritans’ Purse ‘Operation Christmas Child’ appeal which is being coordinated by Danielle Perrett, a switchboard operator at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Danielle’s switchboard colleagues, including Telecoms Supervisor, Laura Peel, have also helped with the appeal and they are delighted that so many boxes have been collected.
Danielle bought 50 boxes with her own money for staff to fill and some employees have made up their own boxes.
And there’s still time to make up a shoebox if you can get it to Danielle by this Thursday, November 17, at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Danielle said: “It’s such a nice charity. It doesn’t cost a lot to do a box.
“Nowadays a lot of kids get huge amounts of presents but that’s not really what Christmas is about.
“There are children out there with nothing. If they get a box with a cuddly toy in it they are so excited.
“That’s what Christmas is really about – giving to others.
“We have had the appeal at the hospital for several years and this is the first time that I have organised it.
“It has always been a popular appeal as the boxes are distributed in this country and around the world.
“If you buy a box you can make a £3 donation and you can track it to see where it ends up. You can also choose to fill it for a boy or a girl.
“Staff at the Trust have been really great. We’ve had boxes from medical students, theatre staff, night nurses, district nurses and many more.”
Anyone who would like to fill a shoebox for the appeal can take it to Danielle at the Switchboard office on the first floor above the main corridor at Blackpool Victoria Hospital by Thursday morning (the deadline was initially November 10 but has been extended due to the popularity of the appeal).
Danielle is going to take all of the boxes to the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection point in Blackpool later on Thursday.
Information on what can be put into a shoebox for children is on the Operation Christmas Child website at: https://www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/