Gifts will light up kids’ lives this Christmas

HN Events course students with the gift-filled shoeboxes destined for the Ukraine and Belarus.

HN Events course students with the gift-filled shoeboxes destined for the Ukraine and Belarus.

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students will bring joy to some of the world’s neediest youngster this festive season after taking part in Operation Christmas Child.

The Cumbernauld College HN Events students are seen above, next to a giant Christmas tree with a difference. For it is made out of some of the 250 gift-filled boxes collected by the college.

The boxes are now making their way to Ukraine and Belarus, and will be handed out to children on Christmas Day.

Filled with toys, stationary and toiletries the shoeboxes were donated by college students, staff and other organisations including Glenmanor Primary School, Kildrum Primary School and Hillcrest sheltered housing tenants.

As well as collecting the boxes students at the college also raised £355 for the cause.

HN Events programme leader Beatrice Soutar said she was proud of her students, adding: “They have all been so involved with the campaign and they understand how special the gift is to the child who will receive it on Christmas Day.

“This is the second year the college has been involved with Operation Christmas Child and we have surpassed last year’s total. We would like to thank all the individuals, organisations and business who donated to the appeal.”

The charity’s local representative Chris Thompson praised all those involved – as he prepared to send the boxes out to street shelters, orphanages and hospitals in these former Soviet satellite states.

Chris said: “It might be difficult for someone to appreciate what a few toys, some toiletries and education items mean, but the children are so appreciative. What’s also fascinating is that they often get their shoebox and share things out with each other. 

“We’ve had some great support from the public locally and from our volunteers who work so hard.”

He added: “I wish everyone could see the smiles on the children’s faces when they get their shoebox. It makes you appreciate how the simple act of someone here sending a shoebox to an unknown child really is a very personal, and important, act of kindness.”