Hitchin schools donate gift boxes to Africa

SCHOOLS and churches in Hitchin will help put a smile on the faces of children in impoverished areas of the world, after collecting more than 1,000 gift shoeboxes to send to Africa, Asia and eastern Europe.

Walsworth Road Baptist Church co-ordinated the project, which will see the boxes made up of small gifts and presents for children, delivered to countries in the third world.

The church worked in partnership with other churches in the town, including Christchurch, Covenant Praise and St Mark’s as well as schools including Highbury, Mary Exton, Our Lady’s, Purwell, St. Andrew’s, Strathmore, Whitehill, William Ransom and Priory.

In the last four years, the project, which is run alongside charity Smile International, has seen more than 4,000 boxes donated to the cause.

The boxes will be delivered to the Orpington headquarters of Smile on Tuesday, with two church members, Diana and Gil Seller, travelling to Kosovo later this month to distribute the boxes to underprivileged children.


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Smile co-ordinator at Walsworth Baptist, Julie Henton Pusey, said: “We are delighted with the generous contributions from so many people here in Hitchin and are grateful to everyone who helped with our Smile shoebox appeal.

“We hope these boxes will take a little bit of Christmas cheer to many needy children who have very few toys or treats.”

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The churches’ work continues throughout the year, with members knitting hats and gloves which are included in the shoeboxes to ensure each child receives at least one item to help keep them warm.

They also knit squares which are sewn together to make blankets, which are shipped with the shoeboxes to be used by Smile in its aid work.

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