Residents at The Cedars care home on Brookfield Drive are working some Christmas magic of their own this year by preparing little boxes of joy to send to children around the world.
Residents and staff at the CLS-run home have been decorating shoeboxes and filling them with toys, gifts and toiletries for children living in developing or war-torn countries. Members of the home’s Knitting Club have also been knitting colourful bags as an additional present to help spread the Christmas cheer.
Commenting on the project, 82-year-old Margery Simcock said: “I still remember the magic of unwrapping presents from Father Christmas as a child. It’s very sad to think that there are children out there who don’t receive any gifts at all, so it feels good to try and help change that. Plus we’ve had so much fun choosing what items to pack! From toothpaste to flannels, it really gives you perspective when you see the kinds of things that are luxuries to other people. I’m very proud to be doing something to help, and knitting the bags is definitely addictive!”
The shoeboxes are being distributed by the charity: Samaritan’s Purse International, which has been running the Christmas shoebox appeal for nearly 25 years. Sally Corrigan, a local representative, paid the residents a visit at the home where she spent an afternoon chatting with them about the project, even showing them a video of children opening last year’s boxes. The residents found the video so moving that everyone immediately began working hard to make the boxes extra special for the children this Christmas.
Everyone at The Cedars is looking forward to tracking the journey online as the shoeboxes travel to children across the world. Michelle Carter, Activity Coordinator at The Cedars, commented: “It’s been lovely listening to the residents swapping memories of their own childhood Christmases, and hearing about the kinds of presents they used to receive. In fact, we’re already planning even more boxes for next year!”