Schools give to Rotary shoebox drive

Schools have been working hard to collect donations to fill dozens of shoe boxes to send off to some of the poorest countries in Europe for Christmas as part of Rotary’s annual collection for orphanages and children’s homes in Eastern Europe.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 11:26 am

Each shoebox is filled with essential items and lots of goodies that will make a massive difference to families who are far less fortunate. 

Rotarian Peter Thompson and Rotary Club of Knaresborough President, David Druett, collected the boxes and thanked the donors.

David said: “Thank you so much for making this tremendous effort which will brighten the lives of many children and families in the poorest parts of Eastern Europe.

“The personal messages from young people in faraway England will mean a lot.” 

Schools and organisations contributing a total of 500 boxes this year included Bedale High School, Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, Roecliffe Primary, Kirby Hill Primary, Marton Primary, Great Ouseburn Primary, Boroughbridge Scouts, Horbury and Ossett Phoenix Rotary Club and Knaresborough Rotary Club.

Originally started by Rotary clubs in Northwest England in 1994, the Rotary Shoebox Scheme was intended to provide children of Iasi, in north-east Romania with Christmas gifts.

Since then, the scheme has become a national project, supported not only by Rotary clubs but also by individuals, schools, scouts and guides, companies, churches, Inner Wheel, Rotaract and Interact Clubs. 

Some 50,000 boxes are now sent out annually to many different countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

Eleanor Smith, Outreach Manager and Co-curricular Coordinator at Queen Ethelburga’s, said: “It is fantastic to have seen the positive response to our shoebox appeal this year, and it’s evident that thought and consideration has gone into each and every box that has been put together.

“This can be a difficult time of year for many families and we hope that all our boxes go some way in spreading a little happiness from one community to another, across the miles.”