The cuddle that means ‘with love’

Caddington community centre looks like a combination of Aladdin’s Cave and Santa’s grotto this week.

A band of helpers has been checking all the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes lovingly filled by Herald&Post readers and other kind people in the LU1 to LU4 areas.

Warehouse manager Alan Goodman said: “We’ve been making sure they don’t contain war-related items or liquids which could spill and ruin the contents.

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“And we’ve been adding fillers like pencils, notebooks, soap and flannels to those that needed them.”

A hand-knitted hat, hand-made by volunteer Ann Starkey, is popped in all those with room and Alan’s wife Yvonne admitted she cuddled all the toys as they went in so they were sent ‘with love.’

The couple have been involved with the charity for the past seven years.

Alan said: “We heard about it through the Scout fellowship. We went to a presentation and by the end of it we had tears streaming down our faces.

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“You can’t believe that in this day and age children are still living in such appalling conditions.

“Anything we can do to brighten their lives is well worth the effort.”

The retired instrument buyer said 54 cartons, containing 10 boxes each, had already been sent to Swaziland.

More than 2,000 will be loaded on lorries bound for Ukraine and Serbia.

> Samaritan’s Purse, the charity behind OCC, said a big thank you to our readers for their amazing support.

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