All Saints Church in Lydiard Millicent donates Christmas gift shoe boxes to Liberian children

By Sid Hayns-Worthington Business reporter |

CHILDREN in Liberia won’t need to go without this Christmas, thanks to a human chain of kindness organised by church groups in Lydiard Millicent.

Church and pre-school groups in the village filled around 226 shoe boxes with toys, hygiene and school items, 100 knitted hats and pairs of gloves.

At a special annual service the gift-wrapped boxes were then passed down a human chain of around 60 churchgoers of all ages to be stored in the church porch, ready to be posted the next day.

Called Operation Christmas Child the boxes will now make their way to children in the small West African country.

All Saints Church member Heather Benn, who coordinated the collection, said, “Lots of people were astonished as the boxes kept coming and the process took over 15 minutes to complete!”

Cheryl Horton, reception teacher at Lydiard Millicent C of E School, described how enthusiastic the children in her class had been at getting involved in the collection.

“We were so thankful for the opportunity to support such a great cause,” she said.

“The children were incredibly dedicated to it. They were proud to bring in the much-needed items in order to help children who are not as lucky as them. We were overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and were so pleased when we beat our target of 15 boxes and actually filled 38.”

All Saints vicar, Revd Tudor Vaughan Roberts, said, “Operation Christmas Boxes create a two-way journey of joy. Joy for those children and adults who help pack them here in the UK, and joy as they are received in countries where children get a burst of kindness and life-changing happiness, when they are handed out through local churches in the receiving countries.”

“This was at least the eleventh time we have taken part in the Operation Christmas Child collection, and this year was very nearly a record for us! We’ve just heard that our shoeboxes will be delivered to children in Liberia in North-east Africa.”

After being passed down the Chain of Kindness the boxes were collected from All Saints, the shoebox shipment was taken to Highworth Methodist Church.

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