Generous Bromley residents make Christmas for poor Serbian children

PUBLISHED: 13:34 15 December 2011

Serbian youngsters were delighted with the boxes full of gifts last year. This year's donations will fly out in a few days.

Serbian youngsters were delighted with the boxes full of gifts last year. This year's donations will fly out in a few days.


Over 1,100 gift-filled shoeboxes from across the borough are heading for vulnerable children in Serbia as part of Operation Christmas Child, one of the UK’s largest annual children’s charity projects.

The shoeboxes have been donated by individuals, schools, businesses, churches and organisations in communities including Anerley, Beckenham, Biggin Hill, Bromley, Chislehurst, Farnborough, Hayes, Keston, Mottingham, Orpington, Penge, Petts Wood, St Mary Cray, St Paul’s Cray and West Wickham.

Teams of volunteers in the Operation Christmas Child processing centre at Croydon have worked long hours collecting, checking and loading the shoeboxes for transportation.

Bromley Regional Manager for Operation Christmas Child, Carol Outlaw, said: “We’ve had shoeboxes from all over Bromley – quite fantastic. It’s tremendous to see such kindness, particularly at a time when the economic downturn is hitting so many people.

“Everyone who has donated a shoebox can be absolutely certain that it will have a very positive impact on the child who receives it.

“These children often receive nothing else at Christmas and many are living in really difficult situations, ranging from street shelters or orphanages to children’s homes or hospital.

“Some do live with their families but even then we see children living in very harsh conditions, simply because the families are so poor. “It might be difficult for someone to appreciate what a few toys, some toiletries and education items mean, but the children are so appreciative. What’s also fascinating is that they often get their shoebox and share things out with each other.

“On behalf of Operation Christmas Child I would like to say ‘thank you’ to everyone in Bromley who took part. It’s our 21st year and we are so grateful for every shoebox that has ever been donated – we know each one brings happiness to the child who receives it.”

The boxes will be sent to children in Serbia in the next few days.

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