SWITCHBOARD operator, Danielle Perrett, is determined to ensure Christmas is a time for children.
And she is hoping members of staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals will help her in her quest.
Danielle, who is based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, has bought 100 shoe boxes, out of her own money, which she hopes staff will fill with gifts to send to deprived children across the world to spread the real spirit of Christmas.
The shoebox appeal is co-ordinated by Samaritan’s Purse who collate and ship the boxes to children in need worldwide.
This will be the third year that Danielle has been involved in the charity. “It’s really important to me,” she explained. “I think Christmas is about going out of your way for an act of kindness. Christmas is about giving and this is a way that disadvantaged children from all over the world can benefit and receive a gift.”
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.”
To help Danielle in her challenge staff are asked to donate £5 to cover project costs, including shipping. They are then asked to fill their box with such items as toys, school supplies, toiletries and clothing and secure the box with an elastic band.
The boxes will then be returned to Danielle by November 17 and she will organise delivery to the distribution point.
Danielle added: “We are hoping that staff will get involved to help this worthwhile project. My colleagues from the Switchboard are helping me and we have received quite a lot of interest already about the appeal. Staff can either use one of my shoe boxes or one of their own. Shoeboxes should be medium sized and contributors can chose to give a gift to a boy or a girl.
“If people want to get involved they can contact either myself or my supervisor Laura Peel on switchboard and we will give them full details about what they can and cannot put in the boxes. We filled 200 boxes last year and hope to fill even more this year.”