South Ribble-based charity's Christmas shoebox appeal to help vulnerable people

Paul Dufton, warehouse operator at International Aid Trust, getting ready for the Send a Smile shoebox appeal.
Paul Dufton, warehouse operator at International Aid Trust, getting ready for the Send a Smile shoebox appeal.

There will be smiles on faces when a South Ribble-based charity sends shoeboxes filled with gifts to vulnerable people this Christmas.

International Aid Trust is inviting families to a Send a Smile Drop-in Afternoon at their office, at Longton Business Park, Much Hoole, Preston, on Thursday, October 24th, from 1 - 4pm.

Two children receiving shoeboxes filled with gifts in Transylvania.

Two children receiving shoeboxes filled with gifts in Transylvania.

The drop-in session is part of the charity's annual Send a Smile appeal during which it delivers more than 50,000 boxes to needy children, babies and adults around the world.

CEO, the Rev. Bernard Cocker, remembers giving one to a poverty-stricken elderly lady in Ukraine.

He said: “She opened the box and saw a pink flannel, pink soap and a deodorant and said ‘now I can be a lady again’”.

During the drop-in afternoon, families will help wrap the boxes and pack them full of useful and fun items. They will also find out more about the people who will receive these gifts and how the boxes are delivered to them.

The goodies travel as far as Transylvania, Cuba and Sierra Leone, and include items like pens, pencils, notebooks, toiletries, toys and games, sweets, socks and gloves.

The charity is also encouraging people to make shoebox gifts at home, or with their school, church, or group.

For a leaflet about what to put in, or to make an inquiry, please ring 01772 611000 or send an email to julie@internationalaidtrust.org.uk