The kindness of South Tyneside’s communities will give thousands of children cause to cheer this Christmas.
Operation Christmas Child in the borough has collected more than 7,900 packages so far.
A lot of the children get very excited about helping and it helps them realise really how lucky they are.Carol Hall
On Dember 11, they will be shipped out to youngsters living in poverty in Romania ready to open on December 25.
Schools and community groups have donated boxes filled with items including toys, games, hats and winter woollies, as the children will face temperatures as cold as -15c in country during the festive period.
The campaign has been backed once again by milkmen Kevin Dent and Michael Hanover, of Hanover Dairies, who have funded the costs in sending out the boxes, which have also been donated by people in Gateshead.
Carol Hall, area co-ordinator for the Samaritans’ Purse campaign, said: “We’ve got some fantastic volunteers and fantastic people who come along and help.
“A lot of the children get very excited about helping and it helps them realise really how lucky they are.
“We get some brilliant feedback from the children we help.”
On Sunday, at 10.30am, the project will hold a thanks giving service at the Salvation Army in Monkton Road, Jarrow.
It will welcome deputy mayor Olive Punchion, deputy mayoress Mary French, Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn, St Aloysius primary’s choir, church leaders and representatives of Samaritans Purse International.
A 2pm service will have Councillor Fay Cunningham and senior members of the Salvation Army and charity in attendance.