Appeal in Diss proves good things come in small packages

Barry Jones, the Diss co-ordinatior of Operation Christmas Child, with the shoeboxes at the town's M

Barry Jones, the Diss co-ordinatior of Operation Christmas Child, with the shoeboxes at the town's Methodist Church. Picture: STUART ANDERSON - Credit: Archant

They're just the size of a shoebox, but they make a big difference to the children who receive them.

And this year, Diss's contribution to Operation Christmas Child has been one of the town's biggest ever.

A total of 413 shoeboxes full of gifts have been donated, and are now awaiting collection at Diss Methodist Church.

Barry Jones, from Diss, is the co-ordinator of the appeal, which is run by the charity Samaritan's Purse.

Mr Jones said he was delighted with the response to this year's Christmas Child appeal.

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He said: 'We've been doing it for 10 years and this is the second highest number of boxes we've ever got.

'If the children who get them didn't have these they would have absolutely nothing.'

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In the appeal, schools, church groups and individuals fill empty boxes with gifts including toys, school supplies, toiletries, clothes and sweets. They are sent to children in countries in Africa, eastern Europe and other places where families cannot afford gifts for Christmas.

Mr Jones said: 'They bring a lot of joy to the children.'

The boxes were dedicated as part of a service at the church on November 13. They will first pass through a centre in Ipswich, where they will be checked and made ready for transport.

*There will be a Christmas fair at the Methodist Church on Saturday December 3 from 10am to 2pm. There will food and drink and gifts for sale.

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