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Orpington shoe box appeal for troops extended

PUBLISHED: 14:46 17 February 2012

Shoppers can donate at the dedicated 'Love in a Box' unit in the Walnuts Shopping Centre

Shoppers can donate at the dedicated 'Love in a Box' unit in the Walnuts Shopping Centre

Archant

More than 250 shoeboxes containing gifts for troops in Afghanistan have been donated by generous shoppers prompting the charity appeal to be extended.

The Operation Shoe Box ‘Love in a Box’ campaign, being held at Walnuts Shoppping Centre, Orpington, will now run until Monday April 2 after the closing date was extended from February 19.

Launched in January, shoppers are being asked to fill an empty shoe box with everyday items such as deodorant, sweets, razors and wet wipes. The boxes will then be sent to the UK’s service men and women around the globe, including Afghanistan.

Donators are also encouraged to ensure they tape £2 onto the outside of each box in order to help with delivery expenses.

Centre Manager Martin Price said: “Operation Shoe Box is a fantastic organisation working for a really great cause.

“The success of this year’s appeal has been phenomenal and I cannot thank our shoppers enough. I am thrilled that we are extending the appeal so that we can collect as many as possible. Let’s double our target to 500! It really will make a lot of difference to those soldiers abroad.”

Operation Shoebox was set up in 2008 by former Thames Valley Police Officer Ian Whiteway.

The organisation encourages people to fill shoe boxes with a range of useful and everyday items that mean a great deal to the troops, some of whom have been away for months and are missing basic items that people in the UK take for granted.

In 2008 approximately 2,000 boxes were sent and in 2009 it was 10 times the amount at 20,000 boxes.

Ian Whiteway, Founder of Operation Shoe Box, said: “We would like to thank Walnuts Shopping Centre for continuing to aid with our efforts to support the troops abroad.

“It would be nice if as many people as possible filled a shoe box to help bring a little cheer to our troops and importantly, let them know that back home in Britain we are thinking of them.”

Standard size shoe boxes and filled shoe boxes can be donated to the Walnuts Shopping Centre via the Centre Management Suite until Monday April 2.

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