Underprivileged children in the UK and abroad will receive shoeboxes filled with Christmas gifts from kind-hearted staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals.
More than 70 shoeboxes have been donated, as part of the Samaritans’ Purse Operation Christmas Child appeal, coordinated by Danielle Perrett, a switchboard operator at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Her switchboard colleagues, including telecoms supervisor, Laura Peel, also helped with the appeal and were delighted so many boxes have been collected.
Danielle bought 50 boxes with her own money for staff to fill and some employees made up their own boxes, which they then handed in.
Danielle said: “It’s such a nice charity and it really doesn’t cost a lot to do a box.
“Nowadays, a lot of children get huge amounts of presents, but that’s not really what Christmas is about.
“There are children out there with nothing.
“If they get a box with a cuddly toy in it they are so excited.
“That’s what Christmas is really about – giving to others.
“We have had the appeal at the hospital for several years and this is the first time that I have organised it.
“It has always been a popular appeal, as the boxes are distributed in this country and around the world.
“If you buy a shoebox, you can make a £3 donation and you can track it to see where it ends up.
“You can also choose whether to fill it for a boy or a girl.
“Staff at the trust have been really great. We’ve had boxes from everyone from medical students and theatre staff to night nurses and district nurses and many more.”
Danielle has taken all of the donated boxes to the Operation Christmas Child shoebox collection point in Blackpool.
Since 1990, more than 124 million boys and girls in over 150 countries have received shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. To find out more about the project, visit www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child