Shoe Box Appeal for Families in Moldova
This year, our Community Service Group organised a Christmas Shoebox Appeal to support the work of local, Devon-based charity, Christian Response to Eastern Europe' (cr2ee)'.
The idea was to fill a shoebox with gifts for a child (stipulating their age and gender) which is then given to the charity and taken out to children overseas who would otherwise have very little or nothing at Christmas. The charity distributes to adults and families as well as children in Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries.
Our school community has participated in such schemes in the past, and we contacted parents and friends for help in amassing boxes and gifts to send.
Armed with rolls of giftwrap, and with miles of cellotape and ribbon, our pupils, along with Mrs Gregory, set about wrapping the mountain of gifts collected from across our community, filling the boxes with a huge range of new gifts, from sweets, toys and headscarves to tools, shower gel and coffee.
Due to the coronavirus, life in Moldova has been exceptionally challenging, with many who live in small villages, frightened to leave their homes in case they come into contact with the virus. There is no real access to health care and many are living in grinding poverty.
Around half of the working population are employed abroad. Those who were unable to return home before the lockdown became stranded in other countries. Little or no income for themselves or to send home, and with no access to medical help, they were essentially isolated from their family. In many cases, tragically, those who did return home brought the virus to their villages and many of these communities were forced to quarantine.
Thankfully cr2ee have been able to help, initially by sending a humanitarian aid truck to Moldova days before lockdown. This aid continues to be distributed to those in desperate need, with great care being taken not to spread the virus. Reports from a local volunteers make hard reading and detail just how desperate the situation in Moldova has become.
Cr2ee have sent additional financial aid to help with the present crisis, but necessity has forced factories to reopen and workers return. The choice in Moldova is harsh, and the reality is: isolate and starve, or work and risk catching Coronavirus.
The fact that we have come together as a community to provide a little light, is heartwarming, and Mrs Gregory and the pupils would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated boxes and gifts.
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