Earlier today (5 November) Kate Forbes MSP joined a small army of volunteers at Blythswood Care’s Highland headquarters as they added the final touches to shoeboxes heading overseas.
Since 1993, thousands have contributed to the Christian charity’s annual Shoe Box Appeal, which delivers a gift box to some of the world’s most needy people as a Christmas present.
Thanks to the generosity of people across the Highlands, well over two million boxes have been distributed to countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania and Ukraine.
Blythswood is still looking for volunteers to help at their shoebox sorting depot at Deephaven, and were happy to enlist the help of Kate Forbes MSP.
The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: “Blythswood have been caring for people in Scotland and abroad for years. The Shoe Box Appeal is perhaps the most iconic and well-known.
“It’s great to see so many people take part in packing shoeboxes for people in other countries who might not have the joy of Christmas presents otherwise.
“My office is taking part in the Shoe Box Appeal, as a place where people can drop off their shoeboxes.
“It is already a foodbank hub for Blythswood, with lots of local people dropping off food and toiletries which are then collected by Blythswood.
“I have great respect for all the work that Blythswood does in the name of Christian love and service.”
Blythswood are still looking for volunteers to help with collating the shoeboxes, at Maryburgh and Inverness, but particularly its Deephaven depot near Evanton.
Sorting at Deephaven is ongoing Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, and volunteers are welcome to come along or phone 01349 830 777 for more details.
Danny Muschate, PR and marketing manager for Blythswood, said: “Without the support of hundreds of volunteers each year we wouldn’t be able to get the boxes ready to be given to people in need by Christmas.
“We are always astounded by the number of people who willingly give their time for this appeal.
“We especially want to thank Kate Forbes for her support for the Shoe Box Appeal and our food banks.”