KIND-HEARTED Swindonians are busy packing shoeboxes full of love for this year’s Operation Christmas Child.

The appeal was only launched a few weeks ago, but people across the town are already rising to the challenge, from schools to businesses and shops.

The Samaritan’s Purse charity distributes shoeboxes full of toys and gifts to children living in extreme poverty in eastern Europe, with the first boxes due to be shipped on Monday.

Wrapped shoeboxes can be handed in at designated drop-off pounts across the town. They will then be collected and distributed to charities and orphanages in some of the poorest parts of Europe.

Shoeboxes need to be wrapped and clearly marked for a boy or girl, along with their suggested age range.

It is recommended the boxes contain at least one item from four separate categories:

  • Toys: soft toys, jigsaw, small musical instruments, yo-yos, building blocks
  • Educational supplies: pens, paper, colouring book, chalk, stickers
  • Hygiene items: soap, flannel, toothbrush, comb, hairbrush
  • Other items: sweets (sell-by date by next March), sunglasses, gloves, bangles, necklaces Items which cannot be included in the boxes include food, medicine, war-related items such as toy guns or soldiers, clothing, glass items, liquids, sharp items, novels, or anything political.

All items should be new, and anything unsuitable will be removed from the box and used for the benefit of the charity.

The designated drop-off points for the boxes are:

  • Shoe Zone, Regent Street l Moravian Church, Dixon Street
  • Church of Christ the Servant, Abbey Meads Village Centre
  • Highworth Library, Brewery Street
  • The Bridge, 8 Sheep Street, Highworth
  • Royal Wotton Bassett Town Council, 117 High Street If you are part of a group with more than 50 shoeboxes, someone will contact you around mid November to arrange collection.

For more information visit the website which can be found at