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Fill up a festive box for a child.

Byline: Laura Caroe

A SCHEME has been launched to help collect gifts for needy children in Eastern Europe.

Operation Christmas Child is now under way across the region, giving people a chance to play Santa to disadvantaged youngsters who would otherwise face a bleak Christmas.

It aims to collect gift-filled shoeboxes to give to needy children at Christmas in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Last year the Christian charity project delivered 1.24 million shoeboxes from the UK, including 51,700 from Tyne & Wear and is aiming to continue this success in 2007.

Communities across the region donated gift-filled boxes, which were checked before being transported to Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

Operation Christmas Child's regional manager Steve Whaley hopes to collect even more shoeboxes this year. He said: "We all see in the news, far too often, sadly, children left with nothing through no fault of their own and the simple act of packing a shoebox with a few gifts has a very positive impact on them, and their families too."

To contact Operation Christmas Child visit www.samaritanspurse. uk.com or call 0870 011 2002/ 01993 770652.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2007
Words:189
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