Alternative advent calendar makes waves in South Shields

Louise Scott hands over advent boxes of food she has been collecting.
Louise Scott hands over advent boxes of food she has been collecting.
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A woman whose Chistmas idea was an internet hit says she has been “overwhelmed” by people’s generosity.

Louise Scott yesterday handed over 50 boxes of food parcels to help the homeless after posting on social media her alternative to having an advent calendar.

Louise Scott hands over advent boxes of food she has been collecting.

Louise Scott hands over advent boxes of food she has been collecting.

Instead of each day opening a door to a chocolate treat, she opted for finding an empty box and placing one non-perishable item inside it every day in the run-up to Christmas.

The contents would then be donated to a shelter to help the homeless.

Instead of handing over one box, the 33-year-old found herself with 50 boxes filled with food and other gifts after friends, family and even strangers jumped on her idea after it was posted on Facebook.

Louise visited the Salvation Army in Wawn Street, South Shields, where she was able to meet and hand over boxes of food and gifts.

Louise Scott hands over advent boxes of food she has been collecting.

Louise Scott hands over advent boxes of food she has been collecting.

She said: “When I walked in to the Salvation Army the people here were just stunned and the people who were benefiting from the parcels were overwhelmed.

“They had no idea we were coming in with all these donations, so it was a lovely surprise for them.

“It was such an emotional thing to do, hearing some of their stories and how much they appreciate what has been done for them – they were so grateful.

“When I first put the post on Facebook I had no idea I would get the response I did.

“I was getting lots of messages and people adding me on Facebook. It got to the point where I couldn’t physically take any more donations as my home wasn’t big enough, so I had to ask people to take them direct to the Salvation Army.”

“I’ve had lots of support from my parents and friends who have helped me to sort all the items out. I couldn’t have done it without their help.”

Along with food items, people had donated clothes and toiletries, while some even wrote letters wishing the recipient a happy Christmas.

“I have been left overwhelmed by everyone’s response and seeing the letters and the gifts, people have really put a lot of thought into them.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for what they have done. I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was to sort everything out but it’s definitely worth doing and something I hope to do again next year.”