Appeal for Christmas shoeboxes to send to needy children overseas

GENEROUS: Peter and Eileen Ivermee who are the Dorset organisers for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox appeal

GENEROUS: Peter and Eileen Ivermee who are the Dorset organisers for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox appeal

First published in News by

YOU may not be thinking about Christmas shopping just yet – but people in Dorset are being urged to put together a gift for children in poverty overseas.

Peter and Eileen Ivermee have run the Dorset arm of Operation Christmas Child – also known as the shoebox appeal – for international relief charity Samaritan’s Purse since 2002.

The couple, who live in Christchurch, have been visiting schools, churches, groups and individuals for the last couple of months to encourage them to fill a shoebox with Christmas presents.

All the boxes are collected at a Christchurch warehouse and checked by volunteers, before being shipped to 13 different countries across Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia to make a Christmas wish come true for children which would otherwise not receive presents.

Last year, a total of eight million shoeboxes were collected worldwide and sent to needy children and the Dorset branch alone has collected 250,000 in the 11 years Peter and Eileen have been overseeing the project.

Eileen said: “The first year was amazing, volunteers came from all over, the boxes came in, and it’s just really grown in the area.

“We have about 140 schools and churches and groups and lots of individuals. We get about 20,000 boxes a year, but it’s never enough.”

The couple have both been out to various countries to deliver boxes over the years, including Romania, Serbia, Belarus and Russia.

Eileen added: “It’s lovely to see the reaction and you see the real need. We are showing our children what life is like, because they don’t really understand.

“The message is that you can make a difference to another child.”

  •  Shoeboxes can be dropped off at various collection points around Dorset between November 1 and 18. To find out what to include in your shoebox and where to hand it in, visit the website operationchristmaschild.org.uk

Comments (6)

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12:10am Fri 25 Oct 13

nigelperkins says...

i know its all lovely doing the charity bit ,but at the end of the day all we doing is prolonging them to stand on there own 2 feet.....look at bobby geldof..(sir)...
amazing amounts of money went to africa and what has it resulted in....more aids and more africans.....im not religeous in anyway but think that all that starving was an act just to wash out a large percentage of a dying/infected population...
i left the then not so bad u.k 15 years ago and moved to mexico (some will say mexico is third world)spose it is in parts....but i have seen all this charity and the only winners are the goverments...not your joe bloggs....
im not saying dont help....but with all the poverty still in the u.k in general (once again goverments fault)...i think all the charity that start at home ..... should be spread at home first....
i know its all lovely doing the charity bit ,but at the end of the day all we doing is prolonging them to stand on there own 2 feet.....look at bobby geldof..(sir)... amazing amounts of money went to africa and what has it resulted in....more aids and more africans.....im not religeous in anyway but think that all that starving was an act just to wash out a large percentage of a dying/infected population... i left the then not so bad u.k 15 years ago and moved to mexico (some will say mexico is third world)spose it is in parts....but i have seen all this charity and the only winners are the goverments...not your joe bloggs.... im not saying dont help....but with all the poverty still in the u.k in general (once again goverments fault)...i think all the charity that start at home ..... should be spread at home first.... nigelperkins
  • Score: 0

6:38am Fri 25 Oct 13

Lord Parkstone says...

Well said Nigel perkins. Couldnt agree more.
maybe if we stopped all the billions in foreign aid to countries that probably dont need it we wouldn't be in the mess we are in in this country. Charity should begin at home Instead of trying to ease our consciences and ignoring whats going on in front of us by sending aid abroad. If we were in the same position as some of these other countries we insist on propping up would we get aid? No we wouldn't.
Well said Nigel perkins. Couldnt agree more. maybe if we stopped all the billions in foreign aid to countries that probably dont need it we wouldn't be in the mess we are in in this country. Charity should begin at home Instead of trying to ease our consciences and ignoring whats going on in front of us by sending aid abroad. If we were in the same position as some of these other countries we insist on propping up would we get aid? No we wouldn't. Lord Parkstone
  • Score: 1

7:22am Fri 25 Oct 13

retry69 says...

Good grief im actually in agreement twice in one day with you my Lord,nobody cannot be moved by the images we see on tv but the amount of money that goes out of our country to foreign aid is baffling when we have our own children and the vunerable suffering.Like many others I do not have much money to spare but when I do contribute to charities it is always within the UK
Good grief im actually in agreement twice in one day with you my Lord,nobody cannot be moved by the images we see on tv but the amount of money that goes out of our country to foreign aid is baffling when we have our own children and the vunerable suffering.Like many others I do not have much money to spare but when I do contribute to charities it is always within the UK retry69
  • Score: -1

8:24am Fri 25 Oct 13

Lord Parkstone says...

Im pleased retry69 and agree with you totally. Until we stop propping up these countries who do not seem able or want to help themselves then the cycle wont stop. Yes it is heartbreaking to see these images in the tv but thats what its aimed to do. I also think charities should do more to give the donations to where they are meant to be going instead of funding managers wages company cars etc for these charities.
There are so many worthy causes to give to in this country.
Im pleased retry69 and agree with you totally. Until we stop propping up these countries who do not seem able or want to help themselves then the cycle wont stop. Yes it is heartbreaking to see these images in the tv but thats what its aimed to do. I also think charities should do more to give the donations to where they are meant to be going instead of funding managers wages company cars etc for these charities. There are so many worthy causes to give to in this country. Lord Parkstone
  • Score: -1

9:06am Fri 25 Oct 13

bosco1 says...

Dont get me wrong it is sad these children live in poverty etc, but why is it the uk is always the 1st to help others and yet our own Country has its own problems.Im sure there are families here that would welcome a gift and im not talking about the benefit scroungers but children who have one or no parents through no fault of there own.! Look after the children here first then if any surplus maybe send it abroad.
Dont get me wrong it is sad these children live in poverty etc, but why is it the uk is always the 1st to help others and yet our own Country has its own problems.Im sure there are families here that would welcome a gift and im not talking about the benefit scroungers but children who have one or no parents through no fault of there own.! Look after the children here first then if any surplus maybe send it abroad. bosco1
  • Score: 0

11:05am Fri 25 Oct 13

ranger_bob says...

I find myself in complete agreement with the above posts. And if people do have a yen to send a Christmas box to someone find a UK Childrens' charity that would welcome it or send one to Help for Heroes who will send it to a serviceman serving abroad this Christmas.
I find myself in complete agreement with the above posts. And if people do have a yen to send a Christmas box to someone find a UK Childrens' charity that would welcome it or send one to Help for Heroes who will send it to a serviceman serving abroad this Christmas. ranger_bob
  • Score: 1

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