Family’s campaign to bring shoebox smiles

Macy Smith, seven with donated shoeboxes
Macy Smith, seven with donated shoeboxes

A mum and daughter are doing their bit to put smiles on faces across Lancashire this Christmas.

Kat Nelson, 30, and daughter Macy Smith, seven, from Leyland, launched a Facebook campaign to collect shoeboxes filled with essential items and treats for disadvantaged families.

Kat, who works as a fundraiser for The Legacy Rainbow House in Mawdesley, said: “A girl I knew collected shoeboxes last year, but couldn’t do it this time. My little girl asked if we could do it instead, so I set up a Facebook page a few weeks ago and the message really spread.

“We’ve had around 100 shoeboxes dropped off or that we collected - people have been so generous, it’s overwhelming.”

The boxes are being donated to the International Aid Trust in Much Hoole, who will distribute them to the most needy locally, many of whom may not have another present to open.

The boxes are in age category, from two to four years, five to nine, 10 to 14, 15 and over and pensioners. Items include toiletries, sweets, sewing kits, colouring books and activity sets.

Kat added: “It’s easy enough to do and some people have donated four. It just goes to show the power of Facebook. You see so much bad stuff, but this is the other side, and it’s a lovely thing people have done.

“There’s also been a lot of help from Rebecca Davis, staff and families of pupils at Lever House Primary school, Leyland St Mary’s School where Macy attends, Rainbow House and Leyland Methodist’s.”

Bernard Cocker, chief executive of the International Aid Trust said: “We couldn’t do what we do without the help and generosity of people like Miss Nelson. If everyone did what she did, the world would be a happier place.”