Generous youngsters send off festive shoe boxes to those less fortunate
Caring pupils at a school in South Tyneside have being working hard to spread festive cheer to less fortunate children around the world.
Youngsters at Epinay Business and Enterprise School, in Jarrow, have once again taken part in Operation Christmas Child - which sends shoe boxes filled with little toys and gifts to some of the poorest parts of Europe to ensure needy children have something to open this Christmas.
This year is the eighth in which the school - based in Clervaux Terrace, Jarrow - has taken part in the initiative, with its 132 pupils this year managing to send an incredible 105 boxes to those in need.
PE teacher Ann Walsh has been organising Operation Christmas Child at the school along with pupils from Key Stage 4 and Class 8.
They recently dropped off the festive boxes to volunteers at the collection point in Jarrow.
Last year, the school, which caters for pupils with a range of special educational and complex needs, collected 128 boxes filled with goods.
Mrs Walsh, who has taken part in the festive collection for a number of years, said she was delighted with their efforts once again.
She said: “Pupils gave out leaflets and made posters asking for donations of items. “They filled the shoeboxes with hats, scarves, gloves, toys and sweets.
“They thoroughly enjoyed helping and loved that they saw what happens to the boxes when they leave school.
“I was hoping to beat last year’s target of 128 boxes, but we have been very involved in a range of charity events over the last few weeks.
“We have held events such as Zumba for Cancer Research UK, an anti-bullying week, a Macmillan Coffee Morning and activities for Children in Need.”
Samartian’s Purse has been running Operation Christmas Child since 1990 and more than 146 million children in over 150 countries have received shoebox gifts.
Head teacher Chris Rue said: “I am really proud of our staff and pupils. “Our kids are great at recognising that there are those less fortunate then themselves.
“This year has once again been a fantastic achievement.”
People who want to get involved in the project are still able to pack shoeboxes online until Christmas Eve.
To donate visit: www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child