Shoebox gifts to help those in need

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Volunteers with the Christmas boxes Pic © Shoebox Full of Love

Volunteers with the Christmas boxes. Pic © Shoebox Full of Love

An appeal has been launched to spread festive cheer to people who may be in difficulties or sleeping rough this Christmas.

Locals are being invited to fill shoeboxes with everyday essentials and gifts in aid of the Shoebox Full of Love campaign. The boxes will be distributed to the homeless, vulnerable men, women, children and veterans of Merseyside.

Businesses across the city have volunteered as drop-off points, so that people can bring their donations of filled boxes, items and clothing to help those in need.

All packaging must be left unsealed so the volunteers can check donations before distributing them.

The campaign started in 2014 when appeals were made via social media before doubling  in size last year and reached more than 5,000 people.

A number of charities and services will receive a share of donated shoeboxes, including the Whitechapel Centre, Liverpool Homeless Outreach and the Amadudu Refuge.

YouTube: Normel TV

Organiser Vorny Redmond told JMU Journalism: “I started the appeal as it was massively upsetting to see people on our doorsteps in such poverty, especially when surrounded by the wealth of the city centre. We have continued year after year as we have seen the good it does and the response from recipients is always overwhelming.

“We hope to reach as many people as possible, if we could beat last year’s 5,000 that would be incredible, especially as the need is far greater this year.”

A list of drop-off points can be found at the top of the Shoebox Full of Love Homeless Appeal Facebook page, and they will remain open until December 9th.

Vorny added: “At the heart of this appeal is the people of Merseyside, both recipients and those who donate and support it. Without them, none of this would be possible.”

About Cheyenne Hansen, JMU Journalism