CARING classmates have boxed up hundreds of Christmas gifts to bring festive cheer to some of the world’s poorest children.
Working with the Blythswood Care Christian charity, pupils from Bede Academy, in Blyth, filled more than 270 shoeboxes with small toys, clothes and toiletries for underprivileged children in Eastern Europe, India and Pakistan.
Teacher Vicki Allsop said: “This is the third year running Bede Academy has supported the Blythswood Care Christmas appeal and we have managed to fill a fantastic amount of shoeboxes.
“The simple act of giving every day items that seem so small to us – a new hat and scarf, a toothbrush with some toothpaste, a small toy or some soap – can bring great joy to people who live in desperate poverty.
“The whole academy, both senior and primary students, has been involved. Some have given individually and others joined together.
“It has really made students think about the real meaning of Christmas and other people who may not be as fortunate as themselves.”
The annual appeal asks donors to wrap a simple shoebox in festive paper and fill it with small toys, games, sweets, colouring books, scarves, gloves, pens, pencils, toiletries and other items appropriate for either babies, small children, teenagers or adults.
The boxes are then collected by members of Blythswood Care and sent to Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, the Ukraine, India and Pakistan for distribution in time for Christmas.
Ellie-May Robison, five, said: “I hope I get lots of presents at Christmas but some children might not get any.
“I filled my shoebox for a little girl with a pink hat and gloves, some colouring pens, a hair brush and some toys – I hope she likes it.”
Arianne Taylor, 12, added: “Some people have so little that the things we take for granted are luxuries they can’t afford to buy.
“Taking the time to fill a small box has made us all aware of how lucky we are and how a small gift can mean so much.”