By Nigel Slater Thursday 31 January 2013 Updated: 31/01 15:06
CHARITABLE Vale residents who filled shoeboxes full of goods for some of the world's poorest people this Christmas have been praised for their generosity.
More than 5,400 gift filled shoeboxes from across Worcestershire were exported to vulnerable children in Belarus and Bosnia from processing centres in Evesham and Worcester as part of Operation Christmas Child.
Since 1990 the scheme which is run by the charity, Samaritan’s Purse, has sent more than 100 million boxes to children in over a hundred of the world's most impoverished countries.
The Evesham processing centre has also handled shoeboxes from Gloucestershire and North Oxfordshire and processed a grand total of more than 24,500 shoeboxes.
Bob James, Worcestershire area co-ordinator for Operation Christmas Child, said: "I would like to thank the volunteers at our local collection sites and all those who packed an Operation Christmas Child shoe box gift.
"For some of the children who receive these gifts, this shoe box will be the first gift they have ever received.
"Thank you again to everyone who took part in this project. A simple gift, packed with love, can communicate hope to children worldwide.
"We’re so grateful that despite the recession and the hardship everyone is feeling people have really gone the extra mile this year to pack shoeboxes with love and because of that we’ve been able to reach our 100 millionth shoebox."
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