The community response to our appeal for gift-filled shoeboxes has again been excellent, reflecting the persistent generosity of schoolchildren’s families, church parishioners and residents of Cranleigh and surrounding areas. This year almost 500 boxes were donated by nine local schools which, together with more than 250 donated by Dunsfold/Cranleigh parishioners and other members of the local communities, aggregated to about 750 boxes.
As in previous years these boxes were supplemented by those from four other UK sources and so, in effect, the total number despatched from Cranleigh to Romania on 27th November was about 1,730 boxes. In addition, ‘umteen’ bags of bed clothing, knitted hats, scarves and toys, for example, were donated and so both poor children and their families will benefit from the wide range of gifts. In addition, almost £600 (including Gift Aid) was donated through the Just Giving route.
As for the past few years, the boxes and other gifts were packed at the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) barn’ (at the southern end of Rowly Drive). In addition to the very valuable RDA support, we are grateful to many other local organisations that helped us achieve our primary objective by providing, for example, large cartons, pallets, trucks and truck-loading equipment. These include: Surrey Hills Removals; Manns of Cranleigh; Cranleigh Freight Services; Jewsons; Notcutts; and Dick Lane.
The boxes will be distributed, as before, to disadvantaged families in Hunedoara, western Romania, by Pastor Corneliu Medrea who, together with his wife Diana, set up the Bethlehem Centre (www.betelccb.ro) there in the 1990’s. As well as conducting Christian activities, the centre also seeks to develop practical projects to meet the dire physical and material needs of those around them. Over the years they have, for example, used donated aid for a daily-meals programme for children with little or no food, as well as operating after-school clubs to support the educational needs of illiterate children.
So, as for many years, we are most grateful for the local community’s generosity towards this noble cause.
For further information go to: www.cranleighrotary.org.uk