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Christmas Children Appeal 2006

Children in the Novi Sad area of Serbia had some Christmas cheer this year thanks to the generosity of people from South Norfolk. 

A total of 2,109 shoes boxes were sent out from Hethersett, Wymondham, Attleborough and the surrounding villages and joined 12,700 boxes to be sent from Norwich to Serbia. 

Schools, organisations, groups and individuals made it a record year for the area. The boxes are distributed under the auspices of the Samaritans Purse charity and contain a variety of goods including paper, pencils, soap, flannels, toothpaste as well as balls, puzzles, cuddly toys, hats and mittens. 

Area representative for Samaritans Purse, Shirley Adams, collected the South Norfolk boxes at her Hethersett home from September onwards. 

“Ten years ago when we started we collected 46 boxes. Last year it was over 1,900 and this year we have sent 2,109. I would like to thank everyone for their generosity and kindness. Every year I'm amazed and give thanks for the generosity of people - the love and care that is taken in filling a box to bring joy to a child at Christmas is wonderful. People often leave boxes at my home and we are unable to thank them personally,” Shirley said. 

The boxes are divided into those suitable for boys and girls and into three age ranges – 2-4 years, 5-9 years and 10 to 14 years. 

The South Norfolk collection was started a decade ago by Hethersett Happy Circle and Hethersett Methodist Church. It has blossomed from there and already Shirley is planning for next Christmas. 

“I already have a bag of goods for next year. The boxes go to the poor areas of Novi Sad and are distributed in schools, orphanages and hospitals,” she added. 

Shirley collects boxes from September onwards and they are sent to Norwich in lots of two to three hundred. 

“The response has been wonderful. The local churches have done so much to help by truly working together,” Shirley added. 

During the year Shirley talks to various local groups about the scheme. She also has videos and DVDs. Anyone wishing to help or learn more about the collections can contact Shirley on Norwich 810323.