THE time of year is approaching when the schools and churches of the Greater Manchester area begin to think about the preparation of shoe boxes.

An ordinary shoe box decorated and filled with gifts for children aged in three age groups — two to four, five to nine year old or 10 to 14.

Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritans Purse. Web site available.

During November, the boxes are collected, checked and packed in a local warehouse, at the beginning of December a container lorry organised by Samaritan's Purse collects all the cartons and they get delivered to children, in countries where they have nothing or little, in time for Christmas.

For the majority of these children, it could be the first gift they have ever received in their short lives.

Many people are already involved, if this is the first time you have heard about shoe boxes, but feel you would like to get involved, details can be obtained from schools or churches in your area.

Shirley Sharples