Some of the children in Romania each receiving a shoe box
For a number of years Great Brickhill have supported the "Shoeboxes for Romania" scheme organised by Link Romania, a Christain based organisation set up in 1991 " to make a difference in the lives of poor and needy people, in Romania and other Eastern European countries".
Anne Humphreys co-ordinates the scheme in the village - each autumn shoeboxes are filled with all sorts of goodies and they are then sent as part of a local consignment to Romania, in time for the boxes to be distributed to children as a Christmas present for the whole family.
A total of 68 shoeboxes were filled and despatched from Great Brickhill this year - the total number of shoeboxes sent from the UK was nearly 47,000. Grateful thanks go to all those in the village who filled the boxes, to those who knitted warm garments and to those who gave donations
Our local contact Di Miller went out to Romania at the end of November to help with the distribution of the boxes. Di came to the Thursday Group on 14th January to describe her visit. She also sent a photograph taken during her visit (above) and the following report:-
Report From Di Miller, The Local Area Collector For Link Romania
I have been the Milton Keynes area collector for Link Romania's Christmas Shoebox Appeal for several years. There has been a generous response each year from the people of Great Brickhill. Anne Humphreys and her friends recently invited me to share my experiences of my recent visit to Romania and to show them some pictures of where the boxes go and who gets them.
The shoebox journey starts in my sitting room from where the lorry picked up this year's 302 shoeboxes to go to the Link Romania HQ in Worthing. There they are packed into cartons for the onward journey by road to Romania, Moldova and Albania. The boxes are often given to people with whom Link Romania have been working throughout the year, or are seeking to involve in the future, especially in schools and agricultural projects.
Whilst shampoo, soap and tooth brushes are always much appreciated, I have come back with some really good ideas about what else to put in the boxes. Anything to do with football, toys made from wood, good quality things you could find at a car boot sale or charity shop, without spending too much. Also ladies' headscarves and pretty things which gladden the heart make a lovely treat for a poor family. Sometimes a simple tennis ball works very well for a child and one of the best ideas was a plastic cutlery set from Ikea. I saw a child hold that so tightly and wondered whether it was the first time he had his own cutlery to eat with. Another gift was an ordinary potato peeler which brought great delight.
The boxes are given to children on behalf of the whole family, so ideally should always contain some sweets as children do enjoy them so much. Gifts for their parents are also important.
I shall be collecting again later this year, so I personally am already looking out for bargains in the shops and markets. Thank you all.
Further details of Link Romania's work can be found on their website at:- www.linkromania.co.uk
Milton Keynes Area Collector
For Link Romania