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Students think outside the shoebox

Sunderland College students have donated 119 gift-filled shoeboxes to the Operation Christmas Child appeal

Kind-hearted Sunderland College students are helping to spread some festive joy to children in deprived countries after taking part in a charity Christmas campaign.

The students have donated 119 gift-filled shoeboxes to Operation Christmas Child, a scheme run by Samaritan’s Purse which delivers the presents to needy children across the world.

Fundraising activities such as a car wash, football tournament and a cake sale were organised as part of the campaign, and students used the cash to buy thoughtful and practical gifts for the appeal.

The shoeboxes included toys, books, pens, paper, pencil cases, toothbrushes, toothpaste and hairbrushes, as well as personalised Christmas cards and messages for the recipients.

The presents are now winging their way to more than 14 countries and will be delivered to underprivileged children in time for Christmas.

Student Alex Hendry, aged 16, who took part in the campaign, said: “We were shocked to see that not everybody gets a chance to celebrate Christmas and we wanted to make a difference in the world. Our fundraising went very well and we are very proud that 119 children will now have presents to open this Christmas time.”

Lecturer Chris Goodall has been running the college’s Operation Christmas Child campaign for six years and was delighted with the success of this year’s appeal.

He said: “I am immensely proud of our students who have once again worked selflessly to contribute to Operation Christmas Child. Each group took full ownership of fundraising resulting in more than £250 being raised and the most shoeboxes ever collected at the college. Thanks to our students, there will be 119 children in the world who now have presents to open this Christmas.”

Operation Christmas Child has been running since 1990 and has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to more than 113 million boys and girls in over 130 countries.

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