Volunteers are urgently needed to help out with this year's Team Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal in County Wexford which expects to receive 10,000 boxes of gifts to ship to Africa during the festive season.
The boxes are coming from schools all around the county and more than 3,500 have been delivered so far to the Shoebox Appeal warehouse at Celtic Linen on the Rosslare Road in Drinagh.
Each and every box needs to be checked, sealed and packed, hence the call for as many volunteers as possible, according to Sue Tobin who has been involved in the Wexford appeal for the past 23 years, and though she retired as county coordinator five years ago, she still helps out. The current coordinator is Lorna Burt.
'County Wexford has always been a great supporter of the Shoebox Appeal', said Sue. 'I would say 80% of schools in the county get involved every year'.
The shoeboxes must be checked to ensure there are no perishable goods or liquids that can spill.
'You wouldn't believe how many liquids we get, even though we advise people not to put them in', said Sue.
'I've been to the Women's Refuge a number of times already, giving them large bottles of shampoo and bubble bath that we have taken out.'.
Among the items which people are encouraged to include are hats and gloves, underwear, face cloths, toothpaste and tooth brushes, writing materials. colouring books and pencils, toys and sweets but not chocolate.
The County Wexford shipment has gone to Malawi for the past two years but the Shoebox volunteers never know the desination each year until the last minute.
'We ring up head office when the container is ready and only then do we find out where the next shipment is going to', said Sue.
'All we know so far this year is that the Wexford boxes will be going to somewhere in Africa'.
The Wexford warehouse is located at door number 49 beside the staff car park in Celtic Licence and the opening hours for deliveries and volunteering are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
Anyone who would like to help out is asked to turn up at the warehouse. For more information contact Lorna Burt on 085 1367341.