Lions support church’s Love Box initiative to send Christmas parcels to orphans in Europe

From left, Sarah Jane Lavington, church warden, Chris Lambert, Beccles Lions vice president, Margare

From left, Sarah Jane Lavington, church warden, Chris Lambert, Beccles Lions vice president, Margaret Harris, Love Box co-ordinator, Dermot Wesley-Smith, Beccles Lions welfare chairman, Cheryl Coutts, church warden and the Revd Canon John Fellows. Picture: Beccles Lions Club. - Credit: Archant

A Beccles organisation has joined forces with a local church to send boxes filled with Christmas gifts to orphans.

For more than 10 years members of Barsham Church have been collecting shoe boxes to fill with gifts and send to children in orphanages in Moldova, providing them with their one and only Christmas present.

Called Love Boxes, they are filled with individual items that members have either made or bought including knitted brightly coloured hats, mittens, teddy bears, crocheted bags, puppets and small soft toys.

And Beccles and District Lions Club have presented the church with a donation of £150 to cover the cost of transporting the boxes to their destination.

Club president Chris Ramsden said: 'When the club found out about this amazing gesture that was being done locally, yet affecting the lives of children who are not as fortunate as others, the club felt they wanted to help in whatever way they can.


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'Plus some of the members have even made up their own Love Boxes and added to the 65 already made up by the church members there will be a grand total of 79 Love Boxes this year going to the children in the orphanages in Moldova.'

The boxes are wrapped with Christmas paper and labelled for the age group of the presents inside and whether the gifts are for a boy or a girl. The whole operation is organised by the Mustard Seed Relief Mission and each year they will arrange for more than 30,000 boxes to be sent to orphanages all over Europe.

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Margaret Harris, Love Box co-ordinator at Barsham Church, said: 'It is a year-long operation as we start collecting the empty shoe boxes in January and the church members start to fill them with various items of their choice.

'In October we send them to Eastbourne to be sorted and shipped over to the individual destination in Europe in time for Christmas. We have a dedication service in October before they go to bless the Love Boxes and we were pleased that some members of Beccles Lions were able to attend.

'The Mustard Seed Relief Mission provide us with a film showing the children receiving their Love Box and to see the beautiful smiles on the faces of the children makes it all worthwhile. I'd like to thank Beccles Lions for their generous support and help with this year's Love Box campaign.'

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