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Herts and Essex High School collection yields over 70 Christmas gift shoeboxes for people in eastern Europe

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A student at Herts and Essex High School organised a Christmas collection for orphans, refugees and other deprived people in eastern Europe.

The collection of more than 70 shoeboxes filled with gifts and goodies for the Teams4U charity was organised by Year 13 girl Rebecca Walkley, vice president and events co-ordinator of the secondary's Interact group, Rotary's service club for young people.

Students were asked to bring in items to fill the boxes such as included small toys, toiletries, pens and pencils. The boxes were collected from the school in Warwick Road by Rebecca's grandmother, Janet Ashby, and taken to the Teams4U processing centre in Loughton before distribution abroad.

Shoebox collection organiser Rebecca Walkley with her grandmother Janet Ashby (53320889)
Shoebox collection organiser Rebecca Walkley with her grandmother Janet Ashby (53320889)

According to the Teams4U website, the shoebox gifts "will travel to orphanages in Belarus and to deprived communities in Bosnia, Georgia, Romania and Moldova and be given to people forced to leave their homes because of long conflict as well as to those without homes, to those children who have lost parents or been abandoned and to those who face intense discrimination in their own countries, forcing them to live on the outskirts of their societies".

Janet said that she was "overwhelmed" by the number of donations. "This has been brilliant. We didn’t have a lot of time to get it organised but the response has been fabulous," she said.

"Every box is a present for a child who would otherwise not receive a gift at Christmas and that means a lot. The impact of such a small gesture is immense. Thank you to the school community for their generosity."

Rebecca added: "Our collection exceeded our expectations and it was an excellent result. We hope we can build on this and make it a new Herts & Essex tradition. Thank you to everyone who helped make it such a success."

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