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Operation Christmas Child

Wendy Takes Over - After many years of collecting shoeboxes for distribution to under-privileged youngsters in Serbia, John and Shirley Adams have moved from Hethersett and this year's collection is being organised by Wendy Richter of 7, Melton Close, Wymondham. This year's campaign is underway and Wendy can be contacted on 01953 600294. Filled boxes can also be left at Bartrams Funeral Directors in either Wymondham or Hethersett. If boxes are left at either Bartrams Wendy would be grateful for names and address or contact numbers to be included so the gifts can be acknowledged.

Shirley and John Call It A Day

Over the past 15 years Hethersett husband and wife team John and Shirley Adams have been responsible for over 16,000 boxes loaded with goodies being sent to needy children in Serbia under the Operation Christmas Child banner 

Now John and Shirley are calling it a day and moving to a new retirement life in Holt. 

“We are very sad to be giving up but we have decided to move and it certainly doesn’t mean an end to the box collection,” said Shirley. 

“We certainly don’t want people to stop making up the boxes and collecting items. Last year we managed to send over 2,200 and this has been a big part of our lives. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped over the years and would love it if they came round to say hello and goodbye before we move. Literally hundreds of people have helped out over the years and I have seen some grow up from being toddlers into adults,” Shirley added. 

Shirley’s friend Wendy Richter of Wymondham will act as co-ordinator for the Christmas 2011 collection and can be contacted on 01953 600294. 

Bartrams Funeral Directors of Wymondham will be providing storage for the boxes and items can also be handed in at their Hethersett branch. The contact at Bartrams will be Julie Jarvis on 01953 603138. 

Box collection is not quite at an end for Shirley and John, however, as they already have 120 boxes at their bungalow at 15 Park Drive, Hethersett. 

Anyone wanting to say a personal goodbye to Shirley and John can contact them on 01603 810323

 

Christmas 2010

Dateline November 26th, 2010

Over 2,000 shoe boxes full of toys and goodies from South Norfolk are on their way to needy children in Serbia in time for Christmas. 

With the deadline for putting together boxes gone, local co-ordinators for the Operation Christmas Child appeal, John and Shirley Adams of Hethersett, have expressed themselves “very pleased” once again with the response. 

The total of 2,080 boxes represents a small drop on last year’s figure but they have been added to the consignment of over 11,000 boxes collected in the Norwich area. 

Once again John and Shirley’s home in Park Drive, Hethersett, has been full to overflowing with seasonal goodwill. 

“Once again we are extremely grateful to everyone for their support and help. It is lovely to see people coming back year after year. Some have been sending us boxes for the past 15 years. This year we have had bags and bags of knitting including many lovely puppets,” Shirley said, adding that it would be some time before their home was “back to normal.” 

Whilst focusing on this Christmas and the joy that the boxes will bring to youngsters in Serbia, Shirley admits that they are already beginning plans for Christmas 2011.

Dateline November 15th, 2010

Kind hearted youngsters from a Hethersett School will be helping to make this Christmas a memorable one for under-privileged children in Serbia. 

Pupils at Hethersett Junior School have been busy putting together a “wall of support” made from shoe boxes jammed full of toys and other goodies as part of the area’s annual Christmas Child appeal. Deputy Head Richard Carter paid tribute to the efforts and caring nature of the school. 

“The youngsters really have built a shoebox wall of support,” he said. 

Operation Christmas Child is this year celebrating its 20th anniversary and the South Norfolk appeal is once again being co-ordinated by John and Shirley Adams of Park Drive, Hethersett. 

There is now just a week to go to the deadline for boxes which need to be with Shirley and John by November 24th  

Boxes can be taken to Shirley at 15, Park Drive, Hethersett (01603 810323) or to Bartrams Funeral Services in Wymondham. Wymondham collector Ann Scott can also be contacted on 01953 602881. 

A lorry and trailer will be taking boxes from South Norfolk over to Serbia in December and the presents will be given out by volunteers.

Dateline October 30th, 2010

Operation Christmas Child is celebrating a landmark year and looking to send more shoeboxes than ever before from South Norfolk to deserving children in Serbia. 

A total if 412 boxes have already been sent from South Norfolk to the depot in Norwich ready for their onward journey and a number of local schools are busy collecting to seriously increase this number. 

The project began in November 1990 when the first Operation Christmas Child convoy left Wrexham for Romania. Many changes have taken place in the subsequent 20 years but the aim to bring comfort and love to needy children has stayed the same. 

Hethersett couple John and Shirley Adams have been at the forefront of the local collection for many years and very shortly their house in Park Drive will be filling up with shoeboxes ahead of the November 24th deadline. 

“There is still time for people to put some small gifts into a covered shoebox which will be sent to Serbia to children who have never had presents before. People can also give donations and have boxes made up for them. November 24th is the very latest date but the earlier we receive them the better. 

“We are so grateful to all the very special people who help throughout the year from the knitters and sewers to the people who look out for bargains all year round. Donations can also be vital. This is a very busy and exciting time for us, “ Shirley said. 

The lorry and trailer will be taking boxes from South Norfolk over to Serbia in December and the presents will be given out by volunteers. 

In South Norfolk, boxes can be taken to Shirley at 15, Park Drive, Hethersett (01603 810323) or to Bartrams Funeral Services in Wymondham. Wymondham collector Ann Scott can also be contacted on 01953 602881. 

 

Christmas 2010

Sending love in a box at Christmas is the aim of a Hethersett couple who are preparing to embark on their 15th festive charity season. 

Operation Christmas Child annually sees thousands of boxes containing presents including hats, mittens, bags, pencil cases, dolls and even chocolate winging their way from South Norfolk to under-privileged children in Serbia. 

Shirley and John Adams of Park Drive, Hethersett, have launched their annual appeal for shoeboxes to be filled with items for children of all ages and they are hoping 2010 to be a bumper Christmas for giving. Last year saw 2,315 boxes sent from Hethersett, Wymondham, Attleborough and the surrounding villages. Once in Serbia the boxes are personally given to the children by volunteers. 

“Our hope is that as we open our presents this Christmas we will think of those who have never had a gift of any kind. 

“When we are cosy in our nice warm houses may we think of families living in shacks with no water or electricity. Not many of us can physically do things to help but we can send love in a box. These small gifts in a covered shoebox bring joy to the children and lessen the anxiety of parents who are struggling to provide for their children,” Shirley Adams said. 

Leaflets explaining just what can be included in the boxes are now available in churches and shops in Hethersett and Wymondham and further information is available from John and Shirley on 01603 810323. 

“We are hoping that people will spread the word and get friends, relatives and work colleagues involved,” Shirley added. 

Filled boxes can be left in Wymondham at Bartrams Funeral Services or with Ann Scott at 6 Vicar Street and in Hethersett at 15 Park Drive. 

A recent coffee morning held at Marion Roberts Court, Hethersett, which included a cake sale and tombola, raised £400 for Operation Christmas Child.

*                           *                        *

Shirley's appeal sent to us reads in full as follows:

"When we open our presents this Christmas may we think of those who have never had a gift of any kind. When we are cosy in our nice warm houses may we think of families living in shacks with no water or electricity. Not many of us can physically do things to help but we can send love in a box, small gifts in a covered shoe box to bring joy to a child and lessen the anxiety of parents who are struggling to provide for their children.

Please will you help this year? Pick up a leaflet from churches and shops in Wymondham or phone me on 01603 810323 and find out more. This year our boxes are going to Serbia (please note we can put chocolate in) and will be given out by volunteers.

Please spread the word, get friends, relations and work places involved and let's see if we can make our Christmas special by bringing joy and love to those who are really in desperate need.

Filled shoe boxes can be taken to Bartrams Funeral Services or left with Ann at 6, Vicar Street or brought to me at 15, Park Drive, Hethersett

Christmas 2009

Well over 2,000 gift filled shoeboxes are on their way to Serbia to bring a touch of joy and festive spirit to needy children in time for Christmas.

Operation Christmas Child has had a bumper year and Hethersett organisers John and Shirley Adams admit they have been stunned by a response which will see 2,315 boxes on their way in the next few days.

“This is wonderful news and a great result. The boxes will bring joy and happiness to so many needy children in time for Christmas. I would just like to thank family and friends who have spent so many hours helping to collect, check and tape the boxes up and also to our collection points at Bartrams Funeral Services and Ann Scott of Wymondham,” Shirley Adams said.

Shirley also praised local schools and groups who took part.

“If any group would like to join in next year or would like a short talk or school assembly on the Samaritans’ Purse charity which oversees Operation Christmas Child I would be delighted to oblige,” Shirley said.

Shirley and John Adams can be contacted on 01603 810323

Shirley has sent the following letter of thanks from which the above story was taken:

"Wonderful news - a great result!

2,315 gift filled shoe boxes are on their way to Serbia to bring joy and happiness to so many needy children in time for Christmas.

Our thanks go to family and friends who spend hours helping to collect, check and tape and to Bartrams Funeral Services and Ann Scott for being drop off points in Wymondham.

It is great to have so many schools and societies taking part. If you would like to join in next year or would like an assembly or short talk about the work of Samaritans Purse please let us know on 01603 810323,

A very big thank you to all involved.

Shirley and John Adams

Previous stories

On the left - Shirley and John Adams with just some of the shoe boxes and on the right pupils from Old Hall School with their gifts.

Pupils from Hethersett Old Hall School have been enjoying impersonating Santa’s elves, busy packing and decorating shoe boxes for the Operation Christmas Child charity which each year sends thousands of gifts to needy children in Serbia.  

This year’s school project began when local co-ordinator Shirley Adams held an assembly at the school explaining the charity’s work. Once the youngsters heard that some disadvantaged children overseas had never received a Christmas gift, they couldn’t wait to help.  

Approximately 80 pupils in the Pre-Prep and Junior Departments have been busy gathering together items such as toys, jigsaws, pens and stationery, toiletries and sweets. All items that a child in the UK might take for granted, but unfortunately for some children are considered rare luxuries. They then decorated 87 shoeboxes festively, which were then filled with these small gifts to be sent to the Serbian children.  

Mrs Gill Mortimer, Head of Juniors and Pre-Prep Department  said;  

“We take part in Operation Christmas Child every year, and every year, the pupils absolutely love it. The boys and girls are very caring and really want to help to make Christmas special for those who are not so fortunate. The fact that the pupils have put together so many parcels is a testament to their generosity.”  

Meanwhile Shirley and John Adams’ home at 15, Park Drive, Hethersett, has looked more like Santa’s Grotto over the past few weeks as hundreds of boxes are delivered. Most of these will be moved on to a Norwich warehouse for their onward journey.   

There is still time to contribute to this year’s Christmas Child appeal. Boxes can be left up until November 23rd with the Adams family or at Bartram’s Funeral Service of Wymondham or local collector Ann Scott of 6, Vicar Street, Wymondham. For more information on the Christmas Child appeal, Shirley Adams can be contacted on 01603 810323. Last year’s appeal saw over 2,300 boxes sent from the area. Shirley and John still have a number of local schools to collect from and are expecting another bumper year.  

Previous Story - November 2009:

Operation Christmas Child is once again in full swing in Hethersett. The annual charity drive to send shoe boxes full of goodies for underprivileged children in Serbia is building up to a climax despite there still being six weeks to Christmas. Once again the local collection point is the Hethersett home of John and Shirley Adams at 15 Park Drive, but time is getting tight for putting the gift boxes together with the critical time being the next two weeks before thousands of the boxes are taken to a warehouse in Norwich for their onward journey to Serbia. Shirley has already collected 742 boxes and the charity looks well on target to equal or even beat last year’s total of over 2,300. A number of local schools have been involved this year.

“Hats, mitts, bags, pencil cases and dolls’ clothes have all been arriving and the response this year has once again been wonderful. There is still time to fill a shoe box and bring joy to a child who has never had a present before,” Shirley said, adding that the cut off date for boxes is November 23rd. Boxes can be left at Shirley and John’s home or at Bartram’s Funeral Service of Wymondham or local collector Ann Scott of 6, Vicar Street, Wymondham. For more information on the Christmas Child appeal, Shirley Adams can be contacted on 01603 810323. 

 

Coffee Morning Success - September 2009

A coffee morning at Marion Roberts Court, Hethersett, raised £420 for Operation Christmas Child and delighted local organiser Shirley Adams. "It was a wonderful result and I am so grateful to everyone for making the morning such a success. 

This means even more boxes can be sent this Christmas. I would just like to thank all my helpers, the manager, staff and residents of Marion Roberts Court for the marvellous support. We had one person turn up with two full bags after reading about the coffee morning in the newspaper," Shirley said. Shirley and husband John are already collecting shoeboxes full of goodies for under-privileged children in Serbia at their Park Drive, Hethersett, home and the process will be gathering pace up to just before Christmas when the boxes are taken to a distribution centre in Norwich before going to Serbia. 

The word is now being spread and leaflets are being placed in post offices, shops and churches in and around Hethersett and Wymondham. "Very shortly we will be in full swing again. This year we can include chocolate and sweets in the boxes providing they have a sell by date of later than March 2010," Shirley added. More details about the charity and the shoe boxes is available from Shirley on 01603 810323.

2008 is a Bumper Year

A total of 2,399 boxes crammed full of Christmas cheer were sent this year from Hethersett, Wymondham, Attleborough and the surrounding villages under the Operation Christmas Child charity banner. 

The shoeboxes full of toys, games, hats, gloves and many other items found their way to poor children in Serbia. 

Local co-ordinators John and Shirley Adams of Hethersett were delighted with the response in what turned out to be a record year: 

“This is a wonderful total and was well up on the previous year. I would like to thank everybody who put boxes together and all the volunteers that helped. We had an army of knitters who made it possible for hats and mittens to be put in every box,” Shirley said. Shirley also had considerable help from Bartrams Funeral Directors and Anne Scott in Wymondham and Vicky Gaskin in Attleborough who acted as local collection points. 

Every year brings up new and interesting challenges for the charity as Shirley explained. 

“I am hoping that next year everyone will cut off the plastic tags which seem nowadays to hold everything together. Children in Serbia do not have scissors and it can be virtually impossible to pull them out.” 

Each year John and Shirley check the contents of every box that stacks up at their home: “All the work is worth it to know that these gift-filled shoe boxes will give so much pleasure and bring a smile to so many children living in unbelievable conditions,” she said. 

John and Shirley are already looking towards their 13th year of collecting and have a special appeal: 

“I would appreciate any spare wool so that the knitters can start their work again,” Shirley said.

 

Previous Stories 

 

 

The Operation Christmas Child charity to provide Christmas cheer for children living in poverty in Serbia is heading for a record year despite the current recession. 

Kind-hearted South Norfolk folk have already donated over 2,000 shoe boxes to local co-ordinators John and Shirley Adams (pictured above) in Hethersett and many more are expected before this year’s appeal closes. 

“Once again people have been so kind. We have been overwhelmed at the number of boxes and the help we have received from family, friends and the community. We seem to be getting more and more known and people know that the boxes are delivered personally by an army of volunteers. That way they are certain of reaching the needy children of Serbia,” Shirley said. 

The Adams’ have been heartened and surprised at the number of boxes that have arrived at their home in Park Drive. 

“It is our 12th year and looks like being our biggest yet. We have boxes just about everywhere apart from in the bedroom,” Shirley added. 

Boxes, which are at present filling up the hall, the lounge and various other rooms, were due to be taken this week to a distribution point in Norwich. That leaves room for more. 

“We can take boxes until the end of the weekend, so are expecting more to arrive,” Shirley added. 

Last year over 2,300 boxes were collected in the local area and this looks like being surpassed this year thanks to the work of individuals, schools, youth and other groups. An army of knitters has also been at work throughout the year. 

The boxes are for children of all ages and contain many items including paper, pencils, soap, flannels, toy cars, jewellery, cuddly toys, scarves, hats and even chocolate.  Each one is checked by John and Shirley who can be contacted on 01603 810323.  

The couple won’t be resting on their laurels, however. As soon as this year’s shipment has left Norfolk they will begin planning for Christmas 2009. 

 

Christmas 2008 appeal launched

Thousands of miles away from the village of Hethersett a bedraggled four year old girl stands in the heavy rain and cold in nothing more than a turquoise vest and leggings watching as a group of people slip and slide through the mud towards her. 

Silvana lives on a fly tip site underneath the notorious Gazela Bridge in Belgrade where hundreds of desperately poor families struggle to survive in shacks amid the plastic bottles, sacks, polystyrene furniture, car parts, cardboard and dangerous asbestos waste. 

Silvana is just one of the young children who have been helped by the Operation Christmas Child charity. 

Meanwhile back in Hethersett the shoe boxes are once again beginning to stack up at the home of local co-ordinator Shirley Adams in Park Drive. Each year John and Shirley Adams’ home is filled by boxes containing presents for poor youngsters in Serbia – all containing gifts from kind hearted local people wanting to brighten Christmas for children living in poverty. 

“The boxes are hand delivered by volunteers and often the youngsters are bewildered  by the arrival of strangers who want to give them something nice. There are many children like Silvana living in desperate situations who have never had a present or a cuddly toy to hug and that’s where Operation Christmas Child comes in,” Shirley said. 

Over 500 boxes have already been sent from Hethersett and there are other collection points in South Norfolk. Last year 2,314 boxes made their way from the local area and the charity is already on course to equal of surpass this number. 

Leaflets are being distributed and will be available from Hethersett Post Office and business premises explaining how people can help by putting boxes together for children of all ages containing items such as paper, pencils, soap, flannels, toy cars, jewellery, cuddly toys, scarves, hats and even chocolate. 

“The children love toys that make a noise. The volunteers also take tennis balls and bubbles with them which prove very popular and, although we cannot include any sweets that contain gelatine, we can include chocolate,” Shirley added. 

Shirley and John’s home is now open for Christmas Child business and she can be contacted on 01603 810323. Collections are also being made in Wymondham where the contacts are Ann Scott on 01953 607868 and Julie Jarvis of Bartrams Funeral Directors on 01953 603138. The Attleboroough contact is Vicky Gaskin on 01953 860338.

A coffee morning at Marion Roberts Court, Hethersett raised £436.72 for this year’s Operation Christmas Child charity. The money will go towards providing under-privileged children in Serbia with Christmas presents.

Previous Operation Christmas Child Stories

This year’s Operation Christmas Child appeal has resulted in 2,327 shoe boxes containing toys and other gifts being sent to Serbia from the South Norfolk area.

Co-ordinator Shirley Adams, who collected many of the boxes at her Hethersett home, has been quick to praise all those who have worked hard to bring some joy this Christmas to children thousands of miles away.

“When it comes to thanking everybody I find it difficult to know where to begin. Our team of helpers is getting bigger and spreading wider which is wonderful. We have schools, churches, associations and work places all taking part and we have individuals who drop off shoeboxes every year and then there are the kind people who send in donations and shops who display our leaflets.

“Above all we have our helpers. Our knitters make hats, mittens, teddies, badges and dolls’ clothes and others collect, sort and deliver the boxes ready for their transport,” Shirley said.

The boxes will be hand delivered by volunteers to children in the poorer areas of Serbia.

“For many this will be their first ever present. December is the time to think of these children. It would be so lovely to see their smiles and hear their laughter when they open the shoe boxes and see the gifts that have been so lovingly packed,” Shirley added.

Shirley is already turning her attention to next year.

“This year we ran out of hats and mittens. We would be very happy if anyone could help with the knitting or supplying wool next year,” she added.

Volunteers can contact Shirley on 01603 810323.

Previous Stories

Shoeboxes are beginning to pile up at a Hethersett home and that can only be good news for children living in another part of Europe. 

For each of the boxes contains Christmas gifts destined for Norwich’s twin City of Novi Sad in Serbia. They are distributed under Operation Christmas Child which is a project of the Samaritan’s Purse charity. 

The charity sends gifts to some of the world’s poorest children. Locally they are transported to Novi Sad to help underline the close relationship that exists between the Serbian city and Norfolk. 

Local project co-ordinator Shirley Adams and husband John (pictured above) are now accepting boxes at their home at 15, Park Drive, Hethersett, and they say the more the merrier. 

Halls and rooms full of complete boxes and other material to make up additional ones make Shirley and John happy as it illustrates how successful the appeal is. The boxes are taken in lots of between 200 and 300 a time to a distribution centre near Anglia Square in Norwich. At the beginning of December lorries arrive from Serbia to transport them and each box is then personally delivered by a group of volunteers. 

“It costs £2 to transport each box, so we are also happy to accept donations. If people don’t want to fill a shoebox we can also accept sweets and chocolate. We are particularly looking for boxes suitable for boys aged between 10 and 14 as we seem to have a shortage this year,” Shirley said. 

Shirley has also enlisted the help of Woodside Infants School, Hethersett Junior School and Old Hall School. All three are supporting the charity and filling shoeboxes. 

“We want to show our love and let the children of Serbia know that they are not forgotten. A lot of these children have nothing. We get so many heart-warming stories. Some believe the boxes come from God,” Shirley said. 

Shirley and John will be collecting boxes until 20th November. The contents will vary as those donating are asked to specify the sex and age group their boxes are suitable for. The age groups are 2-4 years, 5-8 years and 10 to 14 years. A relevant sticker is placed on each box. 

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project. In 2006 1.24 million shoe boxes from the UK were sent to children in hospitals, orphanages, internally displaced persons camps, homeless shelters and impoverished neighbourhoods throughout the world. 

Leaflets detailing what should and shouldn’t be included in boxes are available at a variety of sources in South Norfolk and also from Wymondham Library. This year’s campaign is also being supported by Bartrams Undertakers in Wymondham. In addition Wymondham co-ordinator Ann Scott will accept boxes at 6 Vicar Street and they can also be left at Attleborough Baptist Church by first contacting Vicky Gaskin on 01953 860338. 

Further information on the charity and what can and cannot be included in the boxes is available from John and Shirley Adams on 01603 810323.

News update - November 26th, 2007

Over 2,000 shoe boxes have been collected in South Norfolk during this year’s Operation Christmas Child appeal. 

The appeal sees boxes of toys and other goods being shipped out to children in Serbia in time for Christmas. 

Numerous local groups and organisations have been busy filling boxes this year including Hethersett Junior School, Hethersett Woodside Infants School, Hethersett Old Hall School, Barnham Broom School, Browick Road School, Wymondham Baptist Church, Morley School, Wreningham School, Hingham Church, Spooner Row School, Atleborough Junior School, the Trefoil Guild, Tacolneston School and Church, Wymondham Methodist Church, Ashley Road School Wymondham, Attleborough Baptist Church and the Montessori Nursing Home 

Kind hearted police staff at the Wymondham headquarters of Norfolk Constabulary also collected over 100 boxes through their Christian Fellowship. 

“Every year we think we aren’t going to get as much and every year we get more. I would like to sincerely thank everybody that has contributed and all our helpers who have collected the boxes. Many people, who haven’t made up boxes themselves, have sent in items such as scarves, hats, badges, teddy bears and jumpers,” said local project co-ordinator Shirley Adams, whose Hethersett home has for the past month been packed from floor to ceiling with shoeboxes. 

Most of the boxes are already on their way to Serbia and this coming weekend (December 1st/2nd) is the last that they can be delivered to Shirley’s Park Drive home if they are to arrive in time for Christmas. 

Operation Christmas Child is the world’s largest children’s Christmas project. In 2006 1.24 million shoe boxes from the UK were sent to children in hospitals, orphanages, internally displaced persons camps, homeless shelters and impoverished neighbourhoods throughout the world.

Previous Stories

As summer draws to a close, a local charity is already preparing to make Christmas a special time for children living hundreds of miles away. 

A special service is being held in Wymondham’s United Reformed Church on Sunday (26th August) at 10.30 a.m when Operation Christmas Child project co-ordinator Shirley Adams from Hethersett and Wymondham co-ordinator Ann Scott will be leading worship and explaining about the charity which sends shoeboxes to children living in the poorer areas of Serbia. 

“We are hoping that the service will be a nice way of bringing people to church and give them the chance to learn about the charity and how they can help. It will also give them the opportunity to get to know us,” Shirley said. 

The service will include a video and Shirley will have sample boxes and explain the history and importance of the charity’s work. It will be followed by refreshments. 

The collection of boxes in the Hethersett, Wymondham and surrounding areas will start in earnest from the end of September, although Shirley already has 200 boxes made up in her loft. Individuals and local schools all take part in the project with thousands of boxes going from Norwich to Serbia. 

Leaflets will shortly be available in libraries and shops telling the public how they can take part in the scheme and what should and shouldn’t be included in the boxes and also giving details of local collection points. 

A coffee morning for Operation Christmas Child is also being held in the hall and grounds of Marion Roberts Court in Mill Road, Hethersett, on September 6th from 10 a.m until noon. 

Anyone wanting more information on Operation Christmas Child can contact Shirley Adams on Norwich 810323.

Coffee Morning Success

A coffee morning held at Marion Roberts Court, Hethersett, raised £439.35 for the Christmas Child appeal.

The money came from coffee and cakes, the sale of toys and donations and will be put towards filling shoe boxes to send to needy children in Serbia at Christmas. Leaflets explaining about the charity have been published and will be available in various shops throughout South Norfolk in the coming weeks.

Recently project co-ordinator Shirley Adams and Wymondham co-ordinator Ann Scott took part in a special service at Wymondham United Reformed Church to help raise awareness of the charity. “I would like to thank everyone who has given us so much support and given donations and gifts,” Shirley said adding that she will be collecting boxes at her home in Hethersett from the end of September.

Apart from filled boxes the charity is also in need of chocolate, sweets and toothpaste to send to the youngsters. For more information on Operation Christmas Child, Shirley can be contacted on Norwich 810323.

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.