Spar staff from the North West of England came together to support Operation Christmas Child.
On Tuesday 24 November, over 30 staff from 13 Blakemore Retail Spar stores a division of AF Blakemore donated over 300 hours in one day to help pack and wrap Christmas shoe boxes for children in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
The shoe boxes were prepared in Baptist & United Reform Church, St Marys Church in Nantwich town centre. Over the course of the day over 3,100 shoe boxes were packed by the volunteers. The shoe boxes included educational items, sweets, non-liquid hygiene items (soap, flannels, tooth brushes), stationary and small toys. Each box was sorted into age groups 2-4, 5-9 and 10-14.
Operation Christmas Child is an initiative of Samaritan’s Purse, an international relief and development organisation that works through local churches to support communities in Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Crewe store manager and team leader, Shaun Procter, said: “It was amazing to have so many volunteers from the stores in my area getting together to help the community. It was great for team morale to leave the store for the day and support the community. I believe that we have proven that Spar truly are ‘There for you’. I am already in discussions with Operation Christmas Child on how we can replicate this next year across more areas of the Blakemore Retail division.”
Patricia from Operation Christmas Child commented: “I can’t express how thankful I am for the volunteers from Spar. As a church group we only usually mange to have a small number of volunteers and these tend to be the elderly. On average we pack 300 – 400 boxes a day but today over 3,000 were packed.”