The Hebburn family bursting with Christmas kindness

Brother and sister Jak and Ellie-Jo McCaffery with boxes collected for Shoebox appeal in 2011.
Brother and sister Jak and Ellie-Jo McCaffery with boxes collected for Shoebox appeal in 2011.

A family’s campaign to give children a better Christmas is being wrapped up.

Ellie-Jo McCaffery, 10, took over the Operation Christmas Child efforts from her brother Jak, now 14, when he left St James’s RC Primary in Hebburn to go to St Joseph’s Catholic Academy.

Shoebox appeal. Ellie-Jo with brother Jak McCaffery with their collection in 2010.

Shoebox appeal. Ellie-Jo with brother Jak McCaffery with their collection in 2010.

He had taken over the task after it was first started by their cousins Katie McDermott, 27, and Dylan McDermott, 20, when they were at younger.

This year Ellie-Jo, of Kelly Road, in Hebburn, has trumped the family record by collecting 46 of the gift packs, overtaking her brother’s grand total of 42.

Mum Marie, who is married to John, both 40, and works at Needham Court care home in Jarrow, said: “Ellie-Jo has done this for the last six years and this is her last year in the school.

“We would like to thank everyone who has donated to the charity over the years, especially Ellie-Jo’s grandparents June and Thomas McFadyen, who have supported the charity from day one of the family doing the shoe box appeal and to those who handed donations to them to help us.

We feel very proud that we contributed to this charity.

Marie McCaffery

“We would also like to thank my colleagues for their donations and all the residents’ families that also donated to the appeal.

“We could not have done this without you all.

“Ellie-Jo feels sad that it has come to an end because she and her family have over the time contributed to this appeal.

“But she is happy that on Christmas Day we have been able to put a smile on so many children’s faces.

St James' RC Primary School pupil Ellie-Jo McCaffery who has collected 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.

St James' RC Primary School pupil Ellie-Jo McCaffery who has collected 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.

“We feel very proud that we contributed 
to this charity.”

Operation Christmas Child is run by the Samaritan’s Purse and sees the boxes sent across the world to children facing adversities.

St James' RC Primary School pupil Ellie-Jo McCaffery who has collected 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.

St James' RC Primary School pupil Ellie-Jo McCaffery who has collected 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.

St James' RC Primary School pupil Ellie-Jo McCaffery who has collected 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.

St James' RC Primary School pupil Ellie-Jo McCaffery who has collected 40 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child shoebox appeal.