The annual shoebox appeal has begun, and Rotary Guernesiais is already working hard to fill boxes with gifts and essentials before they're shipped off to children in need in Eastern Europe.
Last year's appeal was particularly successful, with nearly 5,000 boxes collected, sorted and sent off from Guernsey. That made the island the biggest contributor in the Wessex region, achieving 10% of the shoeboxes collected across the entire UK.
Rotary Guernesiais is hoping for another successful appeal this year.
"We are anticipating a turnout equal to that of last year," said Ann Outram of the organisation. "We've had a lot of interest. And here in Guernsey we're in a much more fortunate position than our colleagues in Wessex.
"We're working really hard in the hope that we might reach the 5,000 mark. We missed it by just a couple hundred last year."
Pictured: Advice for those completing shoeboxes.
People making up shoeboxes can choose whether their gift should go to a boy or a girl, and a stainable age range, from 1-3 to 12-15.
All items must be for education, health or hygiene purposes and should be in new or 'as new' condition.
The shoeboxes cannot contain:
Battery powered items
War related items like guns and knives
Large items of clothing or shoes
Books of a religious, racial or political nature
Pictured: Many volunteers get involved with the appeal (image from Rotary Guernesiais Facebook page).
"[The boxes can include] useful things like hats and gloves, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, drawing materials - things that kids might need," Ms Outram continued. "Most of the countries we go to now are quite cold, so things like scarves are appreciated but so are the hygiene items.
"We don't look for reading books because there is the language issue, but colouring and picture books and exercise books are good."
The completed boxes can be dropped off at Cirrus House, Garenne Park in St Sampson's between 31 October and 7 November. The drop-off point will be open from 10:00 until 19:00 daily.
Alternatively, the boxes can be dropped off at Fletcher Sports either on the Bridge or in Town.
Leaflets have been distributed around the local schools, but anyone who would like some for their club, group or office can find more information HERE.
Once the boxes have been collected, they will be loaded by the Guernsey Fire & Rescue Service into two 20ft containers, provided by Channel Seaways. The service will then ship them to Poole free of charge, where they will be picked up and sent on.
The fire service and Channel Seaways help out each year to make the appeal a success.
"We can't say how grateful we really are," Ms Outram added.
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