Following on the heels of the Keswick Christmas light switch-on, in the early hours of Saturday, 1,358 Christmas gift shoe boxes started their journey to children in the Ukraine.
Allan Daniels, Keswick’s Deputy Mayor, joined the volunteers at Keswick Ministries’ Rawnsley Hall to help load the truck for The Samaritan’s Purse Christmas Child appeal.
Over the last few weeks, families, children, schools and churches all over Cumbria packed shoe
boxes for this appeal with essentials like hats and gloves as well as small toys and other gifts
while volunteers from Keswick and surrounding areas worked together diligently preparing the
shoe boxes for their journey. Many of the volunteers help year after year.
Kelly Lightfoot, teacher at Broughton Primary School, said: “At this time of year, when it’s all
about giving, we wanted to give our children a chance to give.” During the week, the school was
invited to send some of their pupils to Keswick Ministries to see how the boxes are prepared for
the 3,000 km long journey.
Molly Bell, aged six, said: “It’s quite fun because we get to see the shoe boxes being checked.”
While Phoebe Moore, aged five, said: “It’s so exciting.”
Allan Daniels, said: “We are a caring community and the children are part of this. As they give
shoeboxes to other children miles away, we hope they will grow up to continue to care for
others. This is a wonderful example of this small community working together, not only for the
benefit of the town, but for the benefit for the greater good, not just in England, but around the
“This is a fantastic cause which underlines the Christian message of hope, especially during this
Christmas season. Our premises are used for a variety of community activities, but this outreach
is particularly close to our hearts. We are delighted that again, this year, we were able to
contribute by making the Rawnsley Hall available for packing the boxes ready for shipment.”,
David Sawday, COO, Keswick Ministries.
George Tsintas, regional co-ordinator of Operation Christmas Child, who has led the activities in
Keswick for the last six years, is passionate about the appeal: “The people of Keswick and the
wider county have always been so generous. I am moved when I see the stacks of boxes
children have packed and how much the volunteers enjoy working at the Rawnsley Hall
‘warehouse’, preparing them for their final destination.
“This is one more example of how people and organisations work together to deliver such
Since 1990, Samaritan’s purse’s appeal has allowed more than 157 million children in some of
the poorest communities of the world in over 160 countries to receive a shoebox for Christmas.