GIVE a needy child a shoebox this Christmas – it might be the only gift they get.
That is the message from organisers of the annual Samaritan's Purse shoebox appeal to ensure children in underdeveloped countries have a reason to smile.
Thousands of children live in poverty and have never received a gift in their life, but the appeal aims to change this by sending thousands of boxes packed with presents to young people in countries like Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Liberia.
Area coordinator Denise Johnson said: "Our children wouldn't find some of these items that exciting, but items as normal and as boring as toothbrushes and soap can make a huge difference.
"Just seeing the expressions on the children's face brings us so much joy. We love the work we do, we are all so passionate and compassionate."
Residents can send in their items with the launch of the campaign on Monday, November 3.
Brian and Mary Clark, of Immingham, have been volunteering for the last nine years. On their own they managed to put together 820 boxes last year.
This year, the pair have already filled 1,030 boxes from the group's base at the Ice House in Grimsby's Victor Street, meaning they have already surpassed last year's total.
She said: "This year has already proved very successful as donations of fillers pour in. We've been very busy but we want to make sure we beat last year's total.
"Stuff keeps coming in to us all the time which just shows how generous people are."
Mary and Brian also handed over a donation of £500 towards the shoebox appeal's transport costs, which the couple raised in a charity swim in Windermere earlier this year.
Mr and Mrs Clark, along with Denise, travelled to Cluj, in Romania, last year and saw for themselves firsthand the conditions that some shoebox recipients live in.
Denise added: "Every little box we donate makes a huge difference. Not only does it have an impact on the children who receive it, but also on the whole village they live in."
If you have any items you would like to donate, take them to one of the following drop-off points:
Asda Extra Superstore
Tesco Extra, Grimsby
Tesco Extra, Cleethorpes
Care Shop, Cleethorpes
Cricketer's Arms, Littlefield Lane, Grimsby
Scartho Family Eye Care Clinic
Raffles Hairdressers, Waltham
Mustard Seed Art Gallery, Cleethorpes
Humber Merchants, Immingham
Shoe Zone, Grimsby and Cleethorpes
The opening times are 10am to 4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am to 9pm on Wednesday and 10am to 3pm on Saturday.
Suggestions for gifts include toys, school supplies, hygiene items and warm clothing. But you should not include damaged or war related items, chocolate or other foods, liquids, medicine or anything of a politicial or religious nature.
For the full list, go to www.samaritans-purse.org.uk
Samaritan's Purse are also looking for more volunteers. If you're interested, contact Mary on 01469 510922.