Pensioners launch charity shoebox appeal

John and Margaret Willemsen

John and Margaret Willemsen

First published in News

A COUPLE from Grove are running their 14th annual Christmas shoebox collection for Eastern Europe.

John and Margaret Willemsen, both 74, have been helping to get aid to the poverty-stricken region since the fall of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s.

This year they are asking people in Wantage and Grove to fill shoeboxes with basic goods such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo and gifts for each family member.

The gifts are delivered to the poorest families in Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Ukraine and Romania.

Many in the region live on one meal a day and toiletries are an unaffordable luxury, especially in the winter when fuel for cooking and warmth is essential for survival in temperatures down to -25C.

Mr Willemsen, father-of-four and grandfather-of-10, said although the economic climate had improved in the past 25 years, many families were still in need.

He said: “We would be delighted to receive anything people can donate.”

Shoebox leaflets containing a list of all the recommended items are available from Mr and Mrs Willemsen on 01235 798875.

Leaflets are also available from the Cornerstone Coffee Shop, Savile Way, Grove, where shoeboxes can be dropped off.

Completed shoeboxes should be handed in by Wednesday, October 29, at the latest.

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.

Send your Letter to the Editor

11:20am Monday 28th July 2014

What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.


Our top stories

Tributes paid to man stabbed to death by Abingdon riverbank

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A WOMAN was last night being held in custody on suspicion of murder after a man was found fatally stabbed in Abingdon.

UPDATE: Woman, 40, appears in court charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Abingdon

Oxford Mail:

10:03am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A WOMAN has appeared in court charged with murder after a man was stabbed in Abingdon on Sunday night.

Pensioner dies in hospital after motorbike crash

Oxford Mail: Thames Valley Police logo

3:39pm Tuesday 21st October 2014

A 74-year-old  man who was injured when his motorcycle collided with a car last month has died in hospital.

Robber sent to prison for part in £11,000 Park End Street attack

Oxford Mail: Oxford Crown Court

9:00am Tuesday 21st October 2014

A ROBBER who beat a man up as a distraction while his accomplice stole £11,000 from his victim’s wife has been jailed.

Let Oxford expand beyond its boundaries says housing crisis report

Oxford Mail: oxford city council logo

7:30am Tuesday 21st October 2014

OXFORD is an example of a city which should be allowed to grow beyond its boundaries, according to a national report.

Drop former English Defence League leader as speaker, Oxford Union urged

Oxford Mail: The Oxford Union

6:40am Tuesday 21st October 2014

NEARLY 200 Oxford academics, students, councillors and trade union leaders have signed an open letter calling for the Oxford Union to cancel an invitation to the former leader of the English Defence League to speak.

Comments

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree