Published: 14:28, 22 October 2020
| Updated: 14:37, 22 October 2020
Free, empty shoeboxes are being given away at a warehouse in Tonbridge, for those wanting to send festive gifts to children living in some of the world's poorest countries.
The boxes are being provided as part of the national Christmas shoebox initiative, Operation Christmas Child.
Since 2015, Operation Christmas Child has sent 150,000 boxes from the the warehouse in Kent to vulnerable youngsters.
This year the charity is encouraging residents of the county to join them in packing even more boxes in order to help bring a message of hope to children and their families who have been badly affected as a result of COVID-19.
Tonbridge resident, and UK Director of Operation Christmas Child, Nick Cole says, “Children and families who live in poverty across the world are afraid.
"Now more than ever they need to experience the joy of a Christmas present.
"Residents of Kent have been so generous over the last few years, I hope this year we can come together and show children that they are loved.”
Residents can either collect an individual shoebox to fill with small toys, school supplies and hygiene items, or could collect 20 flatpack shoeboxes to be used by community groups and for family and friends to fill together.
The boxes have been available to collect since Monday from Vale Road, Tonbridge. You can collect one tomorrowfrom 8am-10am or between this Monday and Friday from 9.30am-11.30am.
They need to be filled and returned between Monday, November 9 and Monday, November 19 at collection points all over the county.
Nick said: “Please do come and collect a shoebox around your morning commute, school run or as part of a half-term outing.
"You can of course use your own spare shoebox if you have one at home and it doesn’t cost a fortune to fill a box either. Collection and drop off of the shoeboxes will all be in accordance with the government’s latest guidelines and social distancing, our team are monitoring the guidelines and modifying the process accordingly.”
For residents who are unable to collect and pack a shoebox, Operation Christmas Child are also running the Shoebox Appeal Online.
Click here to select a box and pack with bespoke gifts online.