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27 Nov 2021

Limerick people send Christmas joy to Romania following annual Shoebox appeal

Limerick's Christmas delivery to take flight

More than 6,000 shoeboxes filled with gifts and toys were donated to the annual Team Hope appeal | PICTURE: Arthur Ellis

THOUSANDS of gift-filled shoeboxes which have been donated by kind-hearted Limerick people will be packed this Thursday ahead of their departure to Romania.

A team of over 20 volunteers will form a human chain to gather and pack the shoeboxes onto a truck bound for Romania as Limerick’s Team Hope ‘Shoebox Appeal’ concludes.

Around 6,000 boxes, donated by families across Limerick, have been brought to the sorting centre at the Cleeves Riverside Quarter site over recent weeks.

Each box has been individually checked and prepared for the 3,500km road-trip to Romania over the coming days.

Organiser Michael O’Connell outlined that the response to the special initiative that takes place in Limerick each Christmas time has been “phenomenal.”

“This year our consignment is being sent to Romania, which has the highest rate of children at risk of poverty in the EU. We are amazed with the generosity of Limerick people again as this year, despite the challenges that schools have with Covid, we have received 6,000 boxes.”

He praised the selflessness of volunteers, who have been coming in “night after night” to make sure that the boxes have suitable items inside.

“They have generously added additional items such as GAA Cúl Camp jerseys and kitbags, as well as other items. It’s an incredible level of generosity from the schools, the schoolchildren, their families and also the volunteers,” he added.

David Conway, CEO of Limerick Twenty Thirty, which owns the Cleeves site, said: “The Shoebox Appeal is one of those initiatives that puts a smile on all our faces every Christmas. It’s a brilliant gesture that connects school children here with counterparts who are not so fortunate elsewhere in the world and we are delighted this year to have been able to support by making the Cleeves site available.”

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