Art on the Town group launches Shoebox Drive
A social media group has launched a drive to help the less fortunate at Christmas.
Art on the Town kicked off the start of its second Shoebox Drive with the help of the Salvation Army.
Tricia Walters, spokeswoman for Art on the Town, said: “We wanted to give gifts to those in need this year, and we hope that people will think of others and do the same thing.”
She added: “You could see the pleasure on those people's faces.
“Even though it was something simple like a brand new pair of socks, there was genuine joy on their faces.
“We realised there was a genuine need and felt it was important to try to do this again this year.”
The Shoebox Drive was started in 2014 as a way to help to long-term patients at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
Ms Walters said the group got more than 300 shoeboxes full of useful items and excess gifts were donated to the homeless.
This year's Shoebox Drive will target the homeless and any leftover shoeboxes will be given to people who are clients of the Salvation Army.
Items such as gloves, scarves, wool hats, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and washcloths, deodorant, razors, and feminine hygiene products were suggested as ideal donations.
Ms Walters said books, crosswords, and snacks were also welcome, but she added donors should avoid sugary goods and consider food allergies.
Ms Walters explained: “These are things we tend to take for granted. Imagine not having any of those necessities because you can't afford them.”
Shoeboxes should be addressed to the Salvation Army's Major Dena Hepditch and can be dropped off at the charity's offices on North Street, Pembroke, before December 3.
The boxes should also be wrapped, and include a card to identify the appropriate gender of the recipient and a list of items inside.
The Salvation Army will distribute the shoeboxes at a special event before Christmas.
Major Hepditch, the community services officer at the Salvation Army, suggested that families and companies turn the creation of the boxes into an event.
She told the public: “Get your children to do it and make it part of a gift-giving tradition with your family, or do it with your coworkers.
“It's good to have a group of people working together in an office saying ‘let's all pack a shoebox' instead of doing some kind of an office exchange of gifts.”
Ms Walters also challenged communications companies CellOne, which has donated in the past, and Digicel to see who could donate the most boxes.
She added: “Let's see who can outdo who.”